Bill Would Address National Park Repair Backlog

Published: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 1:22pm
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Laurel Morales/KJZZ

The Interior Secretary plans to visit the Grand Canyon on Saturday to bring attention to the need to fix national parks.

The National Park Service has a $12 billion backlog of maintenance projects. The list includes bridge, road and trail repairs, fixing toilets so they flush at the visitors center. But by far the most expensive project in all the parks is making sure drinking water flows to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. More than 6 million people visited the park in 2017. More visitation means more wear and tear. 

Secretary Ryan Zinke is calling on Congress to funnel existing revenue the government receives from energy development to the parks under a bipartisan bill called "Restore Our Parks."

Several environmentalists plan to greet Zinke at the Grand Canyon to protest his rollback of national land protections and other actions that favor the extraction industry over wilderness conservation.

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