Fund our na­tional parks

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

The June 24 ed­i­to­rial “In­vest in Amer­ica the beau­ti­ful” called for Congress to pro­vide fund­ing to the Na­tional Park Ser­vice for needed main­te­nance of na­tional parks while lim­it­ing the amount of en­try fee in­creases. The ed­i­to­rial noted an $11.5 bil­lion back­log of main­te­nance projects and the fact that the bud­get has de­creased over sev­eral years.

A na­tional in­vest­ment in parks should be a fed­eral pri­or­ity. Full fund­ing linked to de­vel­op­ment of a vet­er­ans’ job corps for park im­prove­ment could help un­em­ployed vet­er­ans re­turn to the work­force.

My fam­ily has used na­tional parks for recre­ation and en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion at a rea­son­able cost. The na­tional parks should be ad­e­quately main­tained and cel­e­brated in ad­vance of the Park Ser­vice’s 100th an­niver­sary next year. We have the best park sys­tem in the world. It must be pre­served.

Roger Law­son, Columbia

The un­der­fund­ing of our na­tional parks is eco­nom­i­cally sense­less. The ex­pen­di­tures of the parks’ 292 mil­lion an­nual visi­tors, in­clud­ing mil­lions of for­eign tourists, on trans­porta­tion, ac­com­mo­da­tion and other goods and ser­vices pro­vide a huge boost to the U.S. econ­omy. How frus­trat­ing that our rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Congress fail to ap­pre­ci­ate the enor­mous earn­ings value— as well as the en­vi­ron­men­tal, cul­tural and qual­ity-of-life ben­e­fits — of these unique na­tional trea­sures.

Brian G. Crowe, Rockville

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