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Warner pushes for funding National Park Service maintenance backlog

By Chris Muldrow / Fredericksburg Today

Senator Mark Warner is pushing for more than $12 billion to fund a growing backlog of maintenance at America’s National Parks.

Warner took a tour of the Sunken Road and the National Cemetery in Fredericksburg with park historian John Hennessy and several members of City Council.

“We talk about the sacrifice these men made and how brave they were,” Warner said. “And I think we need to put our money where our mouth is. If we don’t take care of that backlog, future generations won’t see this.”

Warner co-sponsored the bill with Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio. The “The National Park Service Legacy Act” would establish the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund” to reduce the maintenance backlog by allocating existing revenues the government receives for oil and natural gas royalties.

Councilman Matt Kelly, who participates in Civil War re-enactments, said “The National Park Service is a custodian of American history. At the end of the day we have advanced as a nation because of ordinary people like the ones who fought here. Throughout history, men and women have made great sacrifices–we have to honor them.”

Hennessy pointed out that, apart from the historical preservation role the parks play, they also spur local revenue generation.

“We know that for every dollar that is spent on this park, 10 dollar go back into the community,” Hennessy said.

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