Senate Committee Approves “Restore Our Parks Act”

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

United States Senator Lamar Alexander on Tuesday said a bill he sponsored, along with three of his colleagues, to reduce the maintenance backlog at our nation’s 419 national parks, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is “one step closer to becoming law.” 

“This legislation could do more to restore our national parks than anything that has happened in the last half century, and the reason we need to restore them is so Americans can enjoy the 419 sites – from the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Grand Canyon – for generations to come,” Senator Alexander said. “This bill will help restore the campgrounds, trails, and roads in what one of America’s greatest story tellers, Ken Burns, calls ‘America’s best idea’ – our national park system.

This bill will allow future generations to enjoy America’s best idea in the same way that we have.”

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the Restore Our Parks Act. The committee held a hearing on the deferred maintenance needs at our national parks on June 18, 2019. 

Senator Alexander introduced the Senate bill along with U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Angus King (I-Maine). This bipartisan legislation would cut in half the nearly $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog in our national parks over the next five years. The legislation is gaining near unanimous support – it has 44 bipartisan cosponsors, is supported by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, and over 100 national, state, and local organizations, including the National Parks Conservation Association, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Restore America’s Parks Campaign, and the Outdoor Industry Association.

The bill was reported out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee by a 15-5 vote. The bill was reported out of the House Natural Resources committee in June 2019 and has 330 cosponsors. 

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today also approved a bill that would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Alexander is a cosponsor. 

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has played a large role in protecting Tennessee’s outdoors for over 50 years. In total, the LWCF has provided over $200 million to conservation and outdoor recreation efforts in Tennessee,” Senator Alexander said. “I’m glad the committee voted to fully fund the LWCF because it will help preserve our state’s beautiful land, water resources and recreation areas for generations to come.”

 

The LWCF was created to help preserve, develop and maintain access to outdoor recreation across the United States. The LWCF receives nearly all of its revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling and other activities that deplete natural resources, and this revenue is then used to provide grants to states and funds conservation efforts by the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and the Forest Service. Over the past 50 years, the LWCF has provided Tennessee a total of $208.5 million for projects such as Rocky Fork, the Walls of Jericho and John Tully State Forest.

 

Click here for  video  of Senator Alexander talking about the Restore Our Parks Act. 


2,000 Acres Secured In Georgia For Critically Endangered Species Habitat, Conservation

Tennessee Valley Canoe Club Donates $3,600 To Local Charities

Synergy Climbing And Ninja Training Center Coming To Chattanooga's Southside


Two significant land acquisitions in southeast Georgia were announced on Tuesday by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Open Space Institute (OSI) . One property secures ... (click for more)

Each year Tennessee Valley Canoe Club, a recreational paddling club in the region, raises and donates thousands of dollars to local charities. This year TVCC will present a check for $2,500 to ... (click for more)

Lisa Rands and The Synergy Project, Tennessee Bouldering Authority, and famed American Ninja Warrior show champion, Isaac Caldiero, announced a collaboration to bring a new, preeminent rock climbing ... (click for more)


Outdoors

2,000 Acres Secured In Georgia For Critically Endangered Species Habitat, Conservation

Two significant land acquisitions in southeast Georgia were announced on Tuesday by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Open Space Institute (OSI) . One property secures critical habitat for the restoration of rare species, including one of the state’s rarest plants, hairy rattleweed, and Georgia’s state reptile, the gopher tortoise. The other tract will be ... (click for more)

Tennessee Valley Canoe Club Donates $3,600 To Local Charities

Each year Tennessee Valley Canoe Club, a recreational paddling club in the region, raises and donates thousands of dollars to local charities. This year TVCC will present a check for $2,500 to Team River Runner Chattanooga and $1,100 to Friends of the Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park. TVCC will present the checks to TRR and Friends of the Hiwassee/Ocoee this Saturday. TRR helps wounded ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Tivoli Theatre Foundation Acquires Tivoli Center Building Next Door To Tivoli Theatre

The Tivoli Theatre Foundation has purchased the property adjacent to the Theatre and plans to continue the restoration of the venue as well as renovating the new property., officials said. The investment will include the creation of a performing arts center for Chattanooga. “Since its inception, the Tivoli Foundation has reinvigorated the performance arts venues in Chattanooga,” ... (click for more)

Lookout Mountain, Ga., Council Chooses Builder For Town Center; To Issue RFP For Commercial Portion; Trail Named For Super Volunteer Campbell

The Lookout Mountain, Ga., Town Council on Thursday night selected a builder for the long-awaited Town Center and also moved to issue an RFP for a developer for the planned commercial part of the center. Mayor David Bennett, saying next year will be a banner one for the town, said the Town Center, 12 years in the making, is on schedule to be built during the year. Ground breaking ... (click for more)

Opinion

Abuse To Animals Is Intolerable

In a recent article titled “McKamey Animal Services Seeks Information Pertaining to Dog Fight Victim”, McKamey Animal Center is urging people to share any information regarding a recent dog fight victim that was left abandoned with multiple serious injuries. Abuse to animals is something that I cannot tolerate in the slightest. My heart goes out to the precious little dog that ... (click for more)

Sister Says Leg Surgery For Roy Exum Is A Success

The leg surgery for Roy Exum on Friday afternoon was a success, his sister, Ellen, said she was told by the physician. Mr. Exum, the long-time columnist in this spot for Chattanoogan.com, has suffered for a lengthy time with a badly infected leg following surgery on an arthritic knee. He was told this week that the leg was so damaged that it would have to be amputated or risk ... (click for more)