Monday, July 4, 2022


July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.


The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

U.S. Senate Set to Vote on Great American Outdoors Act


Monday, June 8, 2020   

AUSTIN, Texas -- The arrival of summer in two weeks means many Americans will head to national parks for rest and relaxation. They may, however, find parks in disrepair - a problem that could be addressed by action in the U.S. Senate this week.

The Great American Outdoors Act is a bipartisan bill that would fund deferred maintenance to help keep up with aging infrastructure. Marcia Argust, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts' Restore America's Parks campaign, said even as visitation has increased over the past decade, the park system has crumbling roads, deteriorating historic buildings, rundown trails and outdated water, sewer and electrical systems.

"This bill would invest the dollars to keep these systems functioning and safe," Argust said. "And in doing so, it would also create jobs - and that's really important right now to help the country get back on its economic feet."

The legislation includes full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. If approved by the House and Senate, President Donald Trump has said he will sign it.

With the current COVID-19 crisis, many Americans have discovered how important outdoor recreation can be for physical and emotional health. Isaac Albarado with Explore Austin is a huge fan of Big Bend National Park in west Texas and said he doesn't want aging infrastructure to diminish the experience.

"From Big Bend to Guadalupe in Texas, our parks provide us the opportunity to get away from our neighborhoods and get away from the concrete jungle that we live in and actually experience the great beauty that these parks have to offer," Albarado said.

Argust added that 5 million people visit Texas parks each year.

"Those visitors are spending over $300 million in local communities," Argust said. "That spending generates over 4,000 jobs each year."

The proposed bill would use $6 billion in royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling over five years to fix up federal sites.

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

Disclosure: The Pew Charitable Trusts - Environmental Group contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Consumer Issues, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Health Issues, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The United States celebrates Independence Day while Congress investigates the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Bob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…

Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…

Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …


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