Ken Collins: National Parks need support
America is celebrating 100 years of National Parks. Hopefully everybody has been to at least a few. All that I’ve been to are magnificent. But …
Most, if not all, are in bad need of repairs, cleaning and more employees. The money is just not there. It’s somewhere, just not there.
Raising the entry fees is a small measure. Most parks have privatized the concessions and other measures. Unfortunately, this has not worked. Mainly because the privatizing has actually reduced the parks revenues.
Good old free enterprise. They make lots of money off food and lodging and give very little to the parks. Sweet deals made in back rooms by business people and Congress people, involving briefcases of cash, no doubt.
There is money around. Lots of it.
How about one less aircraft carrier that the Navy does not need. A few billion there. And the F-38 fighter that the Air Force has no need for but is being pushed by Congressmen whose states will build them. Several billion per plane there.
But wait. What about our national security? What does an aircraft carrier or fighter jet have to do with fighting suicide bombers and jihadists traveling around in pickups?
Our parks are our legacies — our playgrounds — our outdoor medicine for our mental health. Surely we can shuffle some wasted money in our Pentagon trough to our National Parks so our grandchildren and their children can walk among nature’s beauty.
No other country in the world has set aside the likes of what we have set aside. Let’s not let it wither away.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After almost four years of providing service to the community as a standalone, full-service emergency department, Steamboat Emergency Center will end its operations April 30.