skip to main content

Monday, May 29, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Advocates call for a climate peace clause in U.S.-E.U. trade talks, negotiations yield a tentative debt ceiling deal, an Idaho case unravels federal water protections, and a wet spring eases Iowa's drought.

play newscast audioPlay

Gold Star families gather to remember loved ones on Memorial Day, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says the House will vote on a debt ceiling bill this week and America's mayors lay out their strategies for summertime public safety.

play newscast audioPlay

The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

Bipartisan Bill Would Address Overdue National Parks Repairs

play audio
Play

Friday, February 7, 2020   

SEATTLE - With a divisive impeachment trial over, advocates for public parks are hoping Congress can focus now on an issue with bipartisan support - national parks.

The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act would fund repairs sorely needed in the country's national park system. Deferred maintenance costs are nearly $12 billion, according to the National Park Service.

Executive Director of Recreation Northwest, Todd Elsworth, says Washington state is fortunate to have three parks, but overdue repairs are a roadblock.

"When they get to these places and there's deficiencies in infrastructure, and roads and bridges, and other parts that make, really, the park accessible and safe for everyone," says Elsworth, "that's where we're really seeing some challenges."

National parks are a big economic driver in Washington. In 2018, they saw more than eight million visitors who spent more than $500 million in gateway communities, and generated nearly 6,000 jobs.

However, repair costs in the state are nearly $428 million.

Marcia Argust is director of The Pew Charitable Trusts' Restore America's Parks Campaign. She says at a time when Washington, DC is so polarized, this is legislation that can move forward.

"It's supported by over half of Senate members and over three-quarters of the House members," says Argust. "And it's also supported by the administration."

Elsworth adds that addressing the maintenance backlog is becoming more important as the state's population grows at a rapid pace and puts more strain on parks.

"I believe that one of the reasons that people are moving here," says Elsworth, "not just for the tech jobs and other sectors, but it's the access to the outdoors that so many of us yearn for and appreciate. And it's part of the Washington experience."

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.


get more stories like this via email

A new ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court means ephemeral streams, such as this one in the mountains east of San Diego, are no longer protected by the Waters of the United States rule. (Chris Hunkeler/Flickr)

Environment

play sound

The U.S. Supreme Court has gutted federal protections for much of the country's wetlands. The court found that the Waters of the United States rule…


Environment

play sound

Environmental advocates say the U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a major blow to the Clean Water Act and to Maine's ability to protect some of its most …

Environment

play sound

A U.S. Supreme Court case that began in Idaho has weakened protections across the nation under the Clean Water Act. The justices on Thursday handed …


As workers try to move forward from the pandemic's aftereffects, labor leaders, including the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, say protections and stronger benefits should help get their careers back on track. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Minnesota legislators adopted a lot of major policies in this year's session, including actions to support workers in many different fields. State …

Environment

play sound

For the first time in nearly three years, the widespread drought that has had Iowa in its grip is predicted to end. The latest drought outlook says …

According to Virginia's opioid cost calculator, which tracks monetary impacts like lost labor, health care, crime, household costs, and state and federal costs, the state is facing a price tag of around $3.5 billion. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

As the opioid epidemic continues to take its toll, a Virginia group is working to keep people safe. The Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition in Roanoke …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report outlined the importance of student debt relief to workers in New York and across the country. An American Federation of Teachers …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Extreme heat kills about 700 people in the United States each year, but a new toolkit and weather alerts can protect folks in Texas and beyond…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021