OPINION: How You Can Help Fix Our National Parks Units

By Julie Mach

In Colorado, our 13 national park sites showcase the unique outdoor spaces, culture and history that define our state. But despite their importance to Colorado’s economy and our natural and cultural heritage, our national park sites are in trouble.

Across the U.S., a backlog of $11.3 billion of infrastructure repairs has piled up at national park sites. In Colorado, there are more than $227 million of needed repairs, including roads, bridges and tunnels. From The Colorado National Monument to Black Canyon of the Gunnison to Mesa Verde, access and safety are compromised and historic sites go without crucial restoration.

In 2016 alone, these Colorado park sites hosted 7.5 million visitors. At the same time, visitors spent more than $485.8 million in local Colorado economies during their stay, money that supported 7,427 jobs across the state, for a combined economic impact of more than $722 million.

It is critical for Congress to step up and better fund our unique system of national parks. Congress can do this by exploring new solutions, including public-private partnership programs, policy reforms, and by supporting guaranteed federal funding to address the infrastructure repair backlog within the National Park System—in Colorado and across the country.

Please contact our senators, Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, at senate.gov and let them know that you support guaranteed funding to fix our parks. To contact Congressman Tipton, visit house.gov and enter your zip code. Please share the need to #FixOurParks in your favorite social media.

Let’s keep the exploration, education, culture and adventure of Colorado’s amazing outdoor and cultural heritage going strong today and for future generations!

For more information on the Restore America’s Parks campaign, please email
michael@rbistrategies.com.

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