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Thursday, 26 April 2018 10:03

Much-enjoyed national parks need maintenance

Written by  Staff Writer

To the editor,
As National Park Week was celebrated April 21 through April 29, I was excited to see the Rock County Board pass a resolution asking Congress to address the backlog of maintenance needs in our national parks. They join more than 160 gateway cities and towns across America that have taken similar action to protect nearby national parks.

Wisconsin has four national parks sites that receive more than 500,000 visitors annually. One example, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, stretches across the entire state and is enjoyed by families, birders and cyclists alike. But beyond its scenic and recreational value, the trail helps our local communities through visitor spending and job creation.

Guests to Wisconsin’s national parks sites spend $44.4 million in nearby communities like Janesville, Beloit, Milton and Albany. And their spending generates 744 jobs. The more than half a million visitors to the trail generate more than $60 million in economic output for the state’s economy.

Our national parks preserve our history, protect our land, honor our veterans, boost our local economy and provide a place of recreation for millions of visitors each year. It’s time Congress stepped up to invest in fixing our national parks so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Dennis James
Janesville

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