Alexander Cosponsors Bill That Will Help Fund Improvements At Tennessee’s 12 National Parks

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Senator Lamar Alexander on Wednesday cosponsored legislation to help reduce the $12 billion maintenance backlog at the National Park Service (NPS) saying the legislation is “good news for Tennessee’s national parks."

“This funding will help address the nearly $12 billion of the growing maintenance backlog in our national parks, including $232 million at Great Smoky Mountain National Park,” Senator Alexander said. “The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of America’s greatest treasures – and it has a tremendous economic impact in East Tennessee. The Park attracts nearly twice the visitors of any other national park – and last year it broke its own record with more than 11 million visitors. Addressing the maintenance backlog will help attract even more visitors and create more jobs for Tennesseans. We must continue to work together to find solutions to the many challenges facing our public lands, and this legislation takes an important step toward doing that.”

On March 28, Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced the National Park Service Legacy Act, bipartisan legislation that would establish a National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund – funded by existing federal oil and gas revenues – to help reduce the $12 billion maintenance backlog at the National Park Service. Tennessee’s national parks have nearly $300 million in deferred maintenance projects. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park's $232 million in deferred maintenance includes $162 million for projects in Tennessee and $70 million for projects in North Carolina. This legislation could help provide funding to repair and rehabilitate buildings, improve park facilities and finish transportation projects in Tennessee’s national parks. 

According to the National Park Service, the annual maintenance needs of the 417 units in the National Park System are almost double the annual appropriations received by NPS – which causes the deferred maintenance costs to increase each year. President Trump and his Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, have made addressing the growing maintenance backlog a top priority. On April 4, the president donated $78,333 – his salary from his first few months in office – to the National Park Service to address infrastructure needs on our national battlefields. The National Park Service manages 25 national battlefields and military parks throughout the country, including four in Tennessee: Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Shiloh National Military Park and Stones River National Battlefield.

25,000 Tennesseans Volunteer On Feb. 24 To Plant Trees In Tennessee's 95 Counties

Tennessee Environmental Council is promoting 250K Tree Day, a statewide event on Feb. 24 planting 250,000 trees with 25,000 Tennessee volunteers of all ages.  Tennessee’s growing population equates to more consumption and deforestation, officials said.  The Council’s Tennessee Tree Project was created to plant one million native trees across the state to help repopulate ... (click for more)

Award-Winning Documentary Featuring Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy Students Premieres Locally At Lookout Wild Film Festival

The award-winning film will premiere locally at the Lookout Wild Film Festival at Memorial Auditorium. “When the Dust Settles” highlights the resilience and strength of wild mustangs and the underserved, young women that work alongside them through the Mustang Leadership Partners program. “When the Dust Settles” features Mustang Leadership Partners program participants from ... (click for more)

BlueCross Sells Huge Tract Along River For $8.1 Million

BlueCross BlueShield has sold a huge tract along the riverfront in Lupton City for $8.1 million. The purchaser is listed as Riverton LLC., 651 E. 4th St., Suite 403, Chattanooga. BlueCross had bought the 216-acre site in 2001 as a possible site for its corporate headquarters. However, it wound up building a $299 million campus on Cameron Hill instead. BlueCross started ... (click for more)

1 Person Injured In Duplex Fire In East Lake Wednesday Night

One person was injured when fire broke out in a duplex Wednesday night in East Lake. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at  11:53  p.m. on  Wednesday  and responded to the 4800 block of General Thomas Boulevard with several fire companies. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, Captain Chris Cordes with Engine 9 said a significant ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This Is Not A Drill

Last Saturday morning in paradise, at 8:07 to be precise, an alert appeared on every cell phone that read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” I can envision no greater horror than having to ask myself how much time do I have, and what is the wisest way to spend it? It was a long and dreadful 38 minutes until the correction ... (click for more)