Happy Birthday Mt. Rainier.
On March 2, 1899, President William McKinley signed legislation creating a 365-square-mile national park, the fifth ever designated by Congress. One hundred and eighteen years later, Mount Rainier National Park remains spectacular with pristine forests and alpine scenery.
As mayor of Enumclaw, I can attest not only to the park’s majestic nature, but to its power supporting gateway communities like ours. In 2015, Mount Rainier visitors spent $45.7 million in local communities while visiting the park, including $11.6 million on hotels and $10.2 million at restaurants. Visitor spending supported 596 jobs and $58.3 million in economic output in local economies.
We have a lot to lose if Mount Rainier isn’t properly maintained. Years of congressional underfunding have created a national park maintenance backlog totaling $12 billion. Mount Rainier alone needs $287 million.
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The Trump administration and Congress need to fulfill their promise to fix America’s infrastructure by providing dedicated funding to national parks, our pillars of economy and culture.
Please take time to contact your congressional representative, urging funding for our beautiful National Park legacies.