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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Covington Calls On Congress to Fund the Parks

Covington City Council Passes Proclamation Asking

Congress to Support National Parks


Statement recognizes the economic impact visitors have on the local economy


Covington, WA — The Covington City Council is the first in Washington State to recognize the national parks with a proclamation recognizing the cultural, educational, recreational, and economic benefits they provide and asking Congress to provide dedicated funding to fix our parks.   

“As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, we should give rangers the resources they need to protect our parks for the next 100 years,” said Covington Mayor Pro Tem and former National Park Ranger Sean Smith. 

In light of a history of congressional underfunding, the proclamation calls on members of Congress to create a reliable and predictable stream of resources to help the National Park Service (NPS) address deferred maintenance at its more than 400 sites across the country.  It is estimated that the current backlog of overdue park repairs—include crumbling roads, rotting historic buildings, eroding trails, outdated public buildings, and safety hazards such as deteriorating water and electrical systems—totals $12 billion nationwide and over $500 million in Washington state, including $285 million at Mount Rainer National Park.

Fixing our parks will help support an important economic engine for our state. NPS reports that during 2015, here in Washington, park visitors spent an estimated $470 million in local gateway communities like Covington while visiting NPS sites, helping to support 6,400 jobs and providing our state an economic boost of $631.7 million in economic output.

Sean Smith is a former Yellowstone Ranger, and an award winning conservationist, TEDx speaker, and author. He writes national park thrillers from his home in the shadow of Mount Rainier National Park. To learn more about his thrillers click here or follow him on twitter: @parkthrillers


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