Thanks to the ADN and Tom Kizzia for capturing the spirit of the community celebration opening the new National Park Service exhibits in Kennecott ("Amid the Ruins of the Kennecott mine, a Quiet New Look at Alaska's Past," June 25). Federal acquisition, stabilization and exhibit planning at Kennecott have been the result of broad collaboration between diverse groups and agencies interested in historic and natural feature preservation, protection of community character and promotion of economic development — an unusual and productive coalition!
Continuation of such efforts depends on adequate supportive funding for the National Park Service. Unfortunately, the park service has about a $114 million maintenance backlog here in Alaska and $11 billion nationally. Hopefully, with the support of the sort of coalition successful at Kennecott, Congress will pass and the president will sign the recently introduced Restore Our Parks Act. It would pay for the highest priority deferred maintenance, fixing roofs, maintaining trails and continuing partnership with communities like McCarthy-Kennecott. We suggest that Alaskans, including our congressional delegation, support this legislation.
— Ben Shaine
President, Friends of Kennicott
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