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President Joe Biden calls on the nation to 'lower the temperature' on politics; Utah governor calls for unity following Trump assassination attempt; Civil rights groups sound the alarm on Project 2025; New England braces for 'above-normal' hurricane season.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Bipartisan Bill Would Address Overdue National Parks Repairs

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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.


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"I truly love our Country, and love you all, and look forward to speaking to our Great Nation this week from Wisconsin," wrote Former President Donald Trump on social media. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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