Washington residents know how fortunate we are to have iconic national parks like Olympic in our backyard. Olympic National Park provides many recreational opportunities and economic benefits to our region. In 2017, more than 3 million visitors enjoyed Olympic National Park. All told, they spent $279 million in our local communities.
Now more than ever, our national parks need help. There is an infrastructure repair backlog estimated at $11.9 billion nationally. Of that, $398 million in repairs are needed here Washington, with $126 million needed at Olympic. The backlog includes crucial repairs on aging historical structures as well as miles of trails and roads, bridges, tunnels, sewers, drainage, and other vital infrastructure.
Thankfully momentum in Congress to address the backlog is growing. The effort is led by Representative Derek Kilmer as sponsor of HR 1225 - Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act. With support from more than one-third of House members from both sides of the aisle – including Washington Representatives DelBene, Larsen, McMorris Rodgers, Jayapal, Schrier, Smith and Heck – leadership is working to ensure that our national parks are strong and vibrant, youthful and everlasting.
Please show appreciation for those working to #fixourparks and urge them to pass HR 1225 – taking care of our parks must remain a priority.
Laurie Ward, Chief Executive Washington’s National Park Fund