N4T Investigators: Elected officials target National Park fundin - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Elected officials target National Park funding problems

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Between Saguaro National Park and Grand Canyon National park there's more than $380 million worth of maintenance projects park officials can't afford to do.

Now, two Arizona elected officials say they have solution to Arizona park's budget woes.

It's called the 21st Century Conservation Service Corp Act and officials say it could save the parks big.

Proposed by Congresswoman Martha McSally and Senator John McCain, the new bill would allow the 21st Century Corp to work on park projects.

"This is common sense legislation that is a win-win. We already have pilot programs in place but we are just trying to make them permanent and have them be a good partnership to support our National Parks," said McSally.

In support of the new bill, McSally cited a recent study saying that public-private partnerships like this one save an average of $50,000 per project.

Not contained in the proposed bill though, is any new funding for parks to perform the work.

A fact that had several park visitors concerned.

"We've got grandkids and we'd like this place to be around for them to see and enjoy," said Texas residents Alfred Deluna.

Funding National Park maintenance projects has gotten the attention of hundreds of business.

So far more 1800 businesses have signed a letter calling on elected officials to fully fund our National Parks.

"All of the tourists that came in, all the businesses that benefit. It's a wonderful opportunity to partner with them and they (National Parks) are producing for Arizona consistently," said Raul Aguirre with REA Media in Tucson.

Nationwide the National Parks Service says that have 12.9 billion dollars worth of backlogged maintenance projects.

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