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Home | Opinion | Op-Ed: Hurd on the Hill: Fighting for our Parks

Op-Ed: Hurd on the Hill: Fighting for our Parks

There’s no better time to go outside than Springtime. Here in the 23rd District of Texas, there’s also no better time to find your park, and you have eight incredible options to choose from across South and West Texas.

From the San Antonio Missions all the way to the Guadalupe Mountains out West, our national parks and historic sites offer immeasurable environmental, cultural and economic benefits across our communities.

As we celebrate the National Parks Conservation Association’s 100th anniversary and National Park Week from April 20-28, it’s a reminder to each of us to join in the fight to preserve and maintain our natural treasures for future generations of park-goers to enjoy.

It is a distinct honor to represent eight national parks and historic sites, including Big Bend National Park, the San Antonio Missions, Amistad National Recreation Area, the Fort Davis National Historic Site, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail and El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail.

That is also why it is a top priority of mine to do all that I can in Congress to fight for our parks.

This Congress, my colleagues and I have come together in a bipartisan manner to support our parks and historic sites by passing the Natural Resources Management Act, which brought together over 100 different initiatives by Republicans and Democrats to care for our natural treasures and make them more accessible.

A few of these measures include providing 4th graders with free access to national parks and other public lands through the Every Kid Outdoors Act, increasing access to federal lands for hunting and fishing and permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which has been vital for preserving state and national parks.

Since LWCF was established, our local parks have received millions in funding, including over $3.4 million at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, $8.6 million at the San Antonio Missions, $750,000 at Fort Davis National Historic Site, $950,000 at the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, $589,000 to Big Bend and nearly $20,000 to Amistad.

I also helped introduced a bipartisan bill to reduce the massive backlog of deferred maintenance project across the National Parks System.

This backlog includes over $12 billion in maintenance projects, including repairing roads, visitor facilities and other park structures, leaky plumbing and more. In fact, in 2017 alone, national parks in Texas faced over $167 million in these deferred projects.

Over $100 million of this backlog was at Big Bend alone, with another $7 million at Amistad, $6.4 million at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, $2.8 million at Fort Davis National Historic Site and $6.9 million at the San Antonio Missions.

The Restore our Parks and Public Lands Act helps fix our parks by distributing currently unassigned federal mineral revenues back into a restoration fund to address this backlog. The funds can be used for overdue repairs so that our parks can remain beautiful and accessible for future generations of park-goers to enjoy.

I take great pride in our National Parks and will continue to protect them in Congress. Our South and West Texas national parks and historic sites are treasures we must protect for years to come.

With National Park Week upon us, I encourage you to experience these remarkable destinations for yourself.

***

A former undercover CIA officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Will Hurd is the U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. In Washington, he serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence Modernization and Readiness, and the House Committee on Appropriations, where he serves on the Subcommittees on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

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11 comments

  1. Where's Paul Manafort? I hear CRICKETS!!!

    Surprised that Donald Trump has not gone after these Texas Parks searching for oil and tearing up their environment and destroying their Eco system. By knocking down trees,polluting the air,since they contain no coal and they can’t do any fracking yet.

  2. Counter argument for the loons

    Surprised that the Demoncrapic/communist (but I digress) haven’t taken a shit all over our great parks like they have in the shitty state of culo-fornia.

    • Where's Paul Manafort? I hear CRICKETS!!!

      Are you sure trumpTURD! limpiate tu fundio republicano besa culo.
      I just made you cry again chorizo breath! Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!
      I DESTROYED THE KKKVIA pendejos. and made them cry.

      • Counter argument for the loons

        “chorizo breath”…you are showing your racism (again).

        But, from the party that founded and still loves the klan-no one here is surprised.

        Just do us real Americans a favor and mark the area in which you shit, not that any of us will visit your trailer casa…lol

        • Where's Paul Manafort? I hear CRICKETS!!!

          Yeah right texass, mama culo Counter toilet tank top.It’s you POS whiteTURDS and some republican Mexican Vendido Fundios.
          I rule you Counter Caca! I don’t need to visit your trailer court,it’s just a porta potty mierda thing where you fight over the excrement that you eat your lunch with the rest of the GOP.
          Y QUE,Baboso? there’s nothing you can do about it, RIGHT?

  3. Counter argument for the loons

    Serious question: Have you ever, even by accident, put a coherent sentence together?

    One of the things I have taught in statistics: “The infinite monkey theorem”.

    The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

    You cannot even compete with a monkey.

    • Where's Paul Manafort? I hear CRICKETS!!!

      Will then,you have to speak for your own primate self as you are the accident since your parents didn’t practice safe sex. You happen to be a parasitic waste,and you talk about statistics, when was the last time you were hanging out at the zoo?
      You try to make yourself look intelligent by using peoples names,like Shakespeare,but like Donald Trump continues to say. I love the uneducated, so that means that you don’t need a college education to be an asshole.
      You cannot compete with me, you are a freaking worthless republican scumbag Cucaracha! you imported yourself over from the KKKVIA Forum.
      Since you know that I post here on this forum,I also notice the the KKKVIA forum moderator is weeding you idiots out. Maybe that is why you are here posting, I more than can compete with you, I give you the beat down every time you come here to post your garbage.
      You are just upset because you can’t do anything about it you BABOSO!
      Sure I’m Right, Y QUE?
      Stop crying and wipe your tears with some Alex Jones Perennial Area Wipes! the used ones work better on you,Republicanus Neanderthalus….
      LOSER!!!!!

      • Counter argument for the loons

        Hummm, so that would be a no..gotcha

        There really was no need in demonstrating your ignorance, it is always on full display.

        I really do enjoy showing how stupid you racists are…so take your klan robes out of the wash tub and go hang them on the line out behind your trailer.

        • Where's Paul Manafort? I hear CRICKETS!!!

          Wait! you called me a racist Klan? it figures that you are not very smart.
          As I said before that Donald Trump continues saying: I love the uneducated, and that means you because all the racist creeps are all republican.
          In you’re case, a deplorable racist SOB! and I continue making you cry with my beat downs.
          At least you don’t have to wear those Halloween costumes anymore, the white cloaks and white conical hoods.
          Your made in China red maga hats replaced your white rags costumes.
          So then you are a white nationalist supremacist just like Donald Trump!
          You Maggot Bigot Deplorable!
          and LOSER!!!!

  4. Counter argument for the loons

    Hey when I see a Grand Wizard, I call y’all out for what you are. I really haven’t seen the Demoncraps this mad since we took your slaves away from you.

    You do know its time for you folks to get over it and join the modern world, just sayin….

  5. Where's Paul Manafort? I hear CRICKETS!!!

    You don’t have to go out of your way to see a grand wizard! Butt Counter Loon! all you have to do is go stand in front of a glass mirror. And you will the see the refection staring back at you of a hater racist bigot white nationalist.
    President Lincoln was a liberal, he freed the slaves, but your relatives fought to secede from the United states. From there they became terrorist and formed the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and they still exist today,that is why you are here crying and getting your beat down from me.
    BTW did you see the ass beating that your Aryan brother received at the Dona Ana Las Cruces jail just a couple of days ago?
    You are not even a real American republican,you are a despicable Trump/Russian republican aka a Deplorable!
    We do live in the modern world,it’s you that want’s to return back to the days of slavery and enact Jim Crow Laws with your voter suppression against minorities.
    I got news for you Butt Counter Loon? STAND FAST!!! The Blue Wave of 2018 wiped out 41 low life republican scumbags in congress.
    In 2020 there will be a HUGE BLUE Tsunami! MUY GRANDE! it’s going to wallop you like drowning rats,fleeing the TrumpTanic, capsizing it and sinking it to ROCK BOTTOM!!! ELEVATION….ZERO!
    TRUMP FOR PRISON IN 2021!

    BIDEN/HARRIS FOR U.S.A. IN 2020

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