Commentary: National park improvements must be in stimulus plans

This editorial appeared in The Fresno Bee.

As the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service approaches in 2016, visitors to those parks increasingly find crumbling roads and historic buildings, outdated displays and poorly maintained campgrounds and trails.

With Congress and President-elect Barack Obama considering infrastructure plans to jump-start the nation's economy, there is an opportunity to change this sad state of affairs.

The nation faced a similar situation after World War II. Then, as now, the parks were suffering from neglect and cutbacks.

So in 1956, parks director Conrad Wirth launched a 10-year project called Mission 66 to prepare the parks for their 50th anniversary – to, as he put it, "overcome the inroads of neglect and to restore to the American people a National Park System adequate for their needs."

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fresno Bee.

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