Friday, May 17, 2019 12:06 AM

MIMS: THINK OF NATIONAL PARKS DURING INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK - CHATTANOOGA TIMES FREE PRESS

Tricia Mims is executive director of National Park Partners, an organization that champions the conservation of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. Tricia Mims is executive director of National Park... Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press. Our national parks are showing their age. Cracking roads, impassable trails and crumbling visitor centers are affecting the quality of visitor access and enjoyment. This may mean less money for areas like East Tennessee where local economies rely on revenue from national park tourism. Infrastructure Week, organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce among other institutions, ends Monday and is the perfect time to remind Congress that action is needed to pay down more than $11 billion in deferred maintenance in our National Park system. According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, full investment in erasing the backlog for our national parks could generate or support an additional 109,000 infrastructure-related jobs, including 2,600 in the Volunteer State. That is why it is imperative that our members of Congress join leaders such as Sen. Lamar Alexander and pass the Restore Our Parks Act. National parks have a significant impact on the local economy. With nearly 1 million visitors annually, tourism to Chickamauga and Chattanooga National ...

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