When we invest

Published 7:45 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017

To the Editor:

When we invest in something in our own life, like a house, we know it is equally important to protect and preserve that investment by maintaining it.  Our 100-year-old national park system—an important public investment for current and future families—is no different.  The National Park Service Legacy Act (S. 751) would reduce backlogged maintenance needs, with sponsors from both parties in Congress. Please ask Senators Cornyn and Cruz to support the bill (email them through www.senate.gov).

In Texas, there is about $295 million in national park, seashore, and other public land maintenance projects that has gone unfunded, according to the National Park Service.  The Big Thicket National Preserve has almost 200,000 visitors each year that contribute to the economy, but suffers from $3.6 million in unfunded maintenance.

This law would eventually set aside $500 million each year over the next 30 years to fix buildings, trails, and other visitor facilities, with the money coming from existing funds the government receives for oil and natural gas royalties.  Imagine how much better our national park system would look like in 2047 if funding keeps up with maintenance projects.

Leslie Barras