By Dave Reichert
Washington’s 8th Congressional District is home to some of the country’s most beautiful national parks, including Mount Rainier and Lake Chelan. I’ve long advocated for protecting these special places not only because they offer great recreational opportunities, but because they’re essential to the economic growth of our communities.
There are thousands of projects across our National Parks system that need attention to ensure our parks remain beautiful and safe places for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural treasures our country has to offer. This is why I joined my colleagues in introducing H.R. 2584, the National Park Service Legacy Act (NPSLA), which would use existing federal funds to make critical park infrastructure repairs. Washington’s national parks need more than $500 million to fix crumbling roads, bridges and trails. Mount Rainier alone needs more than $150 million to repair important infrastructure. The NPSLA is essential to making our parks safe and accessible for everyone.
Recently, the Pew Charitable Trusts released data on how many jobs would be created if we put more resources towards these projects. In Washington alone, 3,826 jobs would be created, especially in non-metro areas like ours. This is great news for our local environment and economy.
It is my hope that the House will soon bring up the NPSLA so we can begin the work of revitalizing our national parks while creating good jobs for our citizens.

Dave Reichert is the U.S. representative for the 8th Congressional District, which includes Eatonville and other parts of south Pierce County. He wrote this article for an e-mail newsletter.