LETTER: Need more federal money for national parks, not fee hike

Money for parks

I agree with the letter “No park fee hikes” in last Sunday’s Dec. 12 Peininsula Daily News.

To expect families to pay $70 dollars a car load to visit their own national parks such as Olympic and Mt. Rainier National Parks is beyond logic when one considers about half of all public school students attending Jefferson and Clallam schools qualify for free or reduced fee meals (Port Townsend School District 47.1 percent and 48.8 percent for Port Angeles School District).

It’s even worse in other Olympic Peninsula districts.

President Trump has proposed $2.55 billion dollars for the National Park Service FY2018 budget.

Of that amount, $99.3 million is earmarked for repair and rehabilitation projects to chip away at the deferred maintenance backlog which totaled $11.3 billion in 2016, according to the Park Service.

When you compare $2.55 billion to the $3.8 billion dollars of tax payer money we are giving to Israel this year, and every year for a ten-year period, you get an idea of what Congress’s priorities are, thanks to the pro-Israel lobby.

Maybe it’s time to call U.S. Rep. Kilmer’s office (202-225-5916) and ask him what his priorities are.

After all, American taxpayers have been shoveling out their tax dollars to Israel since 1949 for a total of $130 billion greenbacks, according to the Jewish Virtual Library (1949-2015).

That’s money that could provide Americans with free world-class parks.

In the mean time, our national parks and monuments continue to be neglected and families are denied access because they can’t afford the entrance fee.

Douglas A. Campbell,

Port Townsend

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