U.S. Congressman PAUL
COOK says, “I want to be sure that our national parks remain safe and
accessible for everyone to enjoy for years to come.
Restore Our Parks &
Public Lands Act of
Washington D.C. August
2018____Representative Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley, California) recently announced, that he is
co-sponsoring the Restore Our Parks and Public
Lands Act of 2018.
legislation establishes the National
Park Service and Public Lands Restoration Fund, which would provide
mandatory funding for the high-priority deferred maintenance needs that support
critical infrastructure and visitor services at our national parks, wildlife
refuges, and other public lands.
Federal land management
agencies are facing an extraordinary deferred maintenance backlog which is
jeopardizing the safety and quality of visitors’ enjoyment of our national
parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands. The Department of the Interior’s total deferred maintenance backlog
alone currently stands at $16 billion.
The growing maintenance
backlog on public lands could cause detrimental economic impacts. Our 417 national
parks received over 331 million visitors
last year. They also support a robust tourism economy, generating $18.2 billion for our public lands gateway communities
in 2017 and supporting 306,000 jobs.
The Fund would draw from
all sources of federal energy revenue, onshore and offshore, as well as
alternative and renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and
hydropower. It may also receive private donations.
Representative Paul Cook’s 8th
Congressional District is home to three National Parks: Joshua Tree, Death Valley, and the Mojave
National Preserve. These parks have millions of dollars in deferred
maintenance needs that could be addressed by this legislation.
Representative Cook said, “This crucial bipartisan legislation is essential
to ensure that our national parks have the resources they need to accommodate
visitors. In my district, Joshua Tree National Park set a new attendance record
last year with more than 2.8 million visitors. I want to be sure that our
national parks remain safe and accessible for everyone to enjoy for years to
come. This legislation will help achieve this.”
Congressman Representative Paul Cook is a member of
the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees,
Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in
the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze
Star and two Purple Hearts.