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LETTER: It’s not too late to fix our parks

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North Carolina is home to some of our nation’s most significant national park sites. From the Great Smokey Mountains to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, our parks are important because they protect our culture and history, offer memorable recreation, preserve our state’s natural beauty, and boost local economies.

North Carolina’s 14 national parks sites are enjoyed by over 18 million visitors yearly! That contributes $2 billion of economic benefit and supports over 20,000 jobs.

Unfortunately, these park sites need $459 million in repairs to outdated roads, water and electric lines, signage, trails and historic renovations. When park infrastructure crumbles that hurts local communities and it degrades people’s park experience.

Fortunately, there is a bipartisan effort in Congress right now to fix our parks. The Restore Our Parks Act would address roughly half of the $12 billion nationwide park repair need. Senator Tillis joined nine members of North Carolina congressional delegation supporting this legislation. Senator Burr’s support as a cosponsor would be welcomed.

It’s not too late to fix our parks. If we urge Congress to act now, we have the power to protect these special places, not only for ourselves but for generations to come.

Jasmine Littleson