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King Pushes For Bill To Fund Needed Work At Nation's National Parks

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press/file
In this May 2, 2013 file photo, the sun's rays strike the rocky coast of Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island in Maine.

Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King says legislation he helped craft called the Great American Outdoors Act, will address the billions of dollars in needed repairs and maintenance at the nation’s national parks. The legislation would set aside revenues the government receives from onshore and offshore energy development to repair and maintain the national parks.

King told Senate colleagues that the people own the parks, many of which have large maintenance backlogs.
“What we are talking about today is paying a debt and making a contribution to the wellbeing of the American people for generations to come,” King says.

King says Acadia National Park, which draws more than three million visitors a year, has a backlog of $65 million. “Acadia National Park in Maine generates more than $300 million a year in economic activity in the surrounding communities," he says. "Our new Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument is already generating economic activity in the area where it is located.”

The bill has strong initial support and King says he hopes it becomes law later this week.