Alexander Will Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Provide More Funding For National Parks

Friday, February 23, 2018
Senator Lamar Alexander spoke with members of the Blount County Chamber of Commerce Friday about legislation he will introduce in the coming weeks to help address the $215 million backlog of projects in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 
 
Senator Alexader said, "The Great Smoky Mountains National Park – as well as other national parks across our state and our country -- are struggling with a backlog of maintenance needs that are not being addressed. The maintenance backlog – which includes roads, buildings, campgrounds, trails, water systems and more – limits access to our national parks and diminishes visitors’ experience,” Alexander said.
“In the Smokies, the maintenance backlog exceeds $200 million – and around 75 percent 80 percent of that is roads. Park employees and volunteers are filling this gap and doing a lot of things we take for granted.  Last year, roughly 2,800 volunteers donated nearly 115,000 hours to the Smokies – helping to maintain trails, serving as campground hosts and doing all kinds of things to make visitors feel welcome and learn more about the park.
 
“President Trump and Secretary Zinke have made addressing the growing maintenance backlog a top priority, and I agree we have a responsibility to address the growing maintenance backlog in our national parks. This is an issue Congress has been focused on for many years, and working with Secretary Zinke, I hope to introduce legislation in the coming weeks with some of my colleagues to help restore and rebuild our parks.
 
“The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of America’s treasures – and it has a tremendous economic impact in East Tennessee, attracting nearly twice the visitors of any other national park. Addressing the $215 million backlog of projects in the Smokies will help attract even more visitors, bring more good jobs to East Tennessee and ensure future generations can enjoy the outdoors like we have.”
 
President Trump included the proposal to help address the National Park Service maintenance backlog in his infrastructure plan and the Department of the Interior’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget request. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke talked about the importance of addressing the maintenance backlog when he visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the senator in August to mark the 101st anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service.
 



TVA Celebrates National Public Lands Day With Several Local Events

The Tennessee Valley Authority invites the public to join in celebrating National Public Lands Day. TVA and its partners are hosting several events in the Chattanooga area over the next two weekends aimed at keeping these public lands and lakes clean and beautiful for recreation users in the Tennessee Valley. To learn more about TVA’s National Public Lands Day events, click  ... (click for more)

Celebration Of National Public Lands Day Event Sept. 29 At Cumberland Trail

Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail in Spring City invites the public to join them from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29 to celebrate National Public Lands Day and the 50th Anniversary of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The Cumberland Trail will have a snake/insect booth, a creek stomp (weather permitting), a gift shop and will be joined by the Tennessee Wildlife ... (click for more)

Karen Saxton, 64, Killed In Crash On Highway 58 Saturday Afternoon

One person was killed in a crash on Highway 58 on Saturday afternoon. The victim was identified as Karen Saxton, 64. Chattanooga Police responded at 5:15 p.m. to the wreck in the 5900 block of Highway 58.  Upon arrival officers located a vehicle driven by 21-year-old Allen Dickerson in the northbound lane and the Saxton vehicle in the southbound lane. Police said ... (click for more)

Juvenile Shot On East 14th Street On Friday

A juvenile was shot Friday evening on East 14th Street. The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 6:45 p.m. to a person shot in the 2000 block of East 14th Street. Upon arrival, Officers located a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Hamilton County EMS responded to the scene and transported the victim to a local hospital. Members of the Violent ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: On Saving A Soul

Not so long ago a top writer for the Washington Post was going through some of President Ronald Reagan’s papers and, among those his wife Nancy cherished, the Post’s Karen Tumulty happened to come across a deeply-moving letter. Four pages and written by his hand, it was a heartfelt message written by the president to his wife Nancy’s father in August of 1982. President Reagan ... (click for more)