Letter: Protect our parks

parks letter2016 is the National Park Service’s Centennial, so I want to highlight the importance of our parks.

Virginia is home to dozens of public parks including Shenandoah National Park, the George Washington National Forest, and Prince William Forest.  These great public spaces provide opportunities for outdoor exploration and great family fun.

Too many of our great parks here in Virginia and across the country are threatened.  When it comes to protecting and preserving our parks, we’ve seen years of chronic underfunding.  Nationally, there are proposals to mine outside the Grand Canyon and to drill right near the Everglades.  And a few extremists in Congress are even considering selling off some of our public lands to the highest bidder.

Thankfully Senator Kaine has traditionally supported public lands, dating back to his days as Governor.  I hope he will stand up and speak to keep our public lands in public hands, and to ensure they are well-funded and protected from pollution or other threats.

Generations to come deserve great public places to explore here in Virginia and nationwide!

Jessie Mehrhoff is a lead organizer at Environment Virginia.

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