PNS Daily Newscast - June 24, 2019 

No military strikes, but President Trump sticks to tough talk against Iran. Also on our Monday rundown: Staying in jail may depend on where you live. Plus, summer is here – will national parks be ready?

Daily Newscasts

Preserving OR History Could Mean Jobs

December 1, 2008

Crater Lake, OR – Oregon has a total of ten National Parks, National Historic Sites and National Monuments - and if one group has its way, they'll be part of the country's economic recovery plans. The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) believes the big maintenance backlog in the park system could be caught up, by hiring people across the country to fix roads and repair buildings, trails and campgrounds.

It's one way to boost local economies, says the NPCA's Vice-President for Government Affairs, Craig Obey. The Park Service estimates there's about $8 billion worth of work to be done, and a push to complete it by 2016, for the 100-year birthday of the National Park system.

"That's the kind of thing that we should be investing in, stuff that you need to be doing anyway - and what you want to do is focus the resources on those kinds of projects, to stimulate the economy."

Obey points out that the National Parks have played a role in other tough economic times, putting a half-million people to work in the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Today's problems, he says, stem from longtime under-funding of the agency. Much of the parks' infrastructure, from buildings to sewer and water systems, needs to be updated.

"And it goes beyond roads and bridges and the like. There's so much that can be done in the parks in terms of energy conservation measures, where you work to retrofit buildings, for example, with green technologies."

The U.S. Department of the Interior says it has stepped up work and increased spending on park improvements over the past three years. Here in Oregon, however, a charitable trust is trying to raise $12 million in private donations to finish projects at Crater Lake National Park; and in a survey of Park Service employees released last fall, 87 percent cited the parks' budgets as their top concern.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR