Senator Murray gets $35.9 million in budget for flood repair
Senator Patty Murray's office announced the senator had succeeded in getting $35.9 million allocated in a supplemental funding bill for repairs to national park and national forest roads damaged by the fall storm. Senator Murray said in a statement that the funds are "important for transportation, public safety, and our economy."
The bill provides $17 million to repair roads in national parks (including Mount Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades), $7 million to repair roads in national forests (including the Gifford Pinchot, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Okanogan-Wenatchee) and $11.9 million for various other storm-damaged roads in Washington.
This is fantastic news. A huge thank you goes out to Senator Murray for accomplishing this feat in a time of tight budgets. This funding proposal is a great start at fixing the estimated $70 million in damage to roads and trails throughout the Cascades and Olympics as a result of fires and floods.
Of course, we also look forward to seeing funds budgeted to fix our state's trails, too. But this funding proposal is a good start. November rains hammered the state's trails and forest roads, and crews have been working feverishly at Mount Rainier National Park to re-open access to Paradise by early May. The funds in this bill, if passed, would help the park continue those and other repair efforts.
Now we need your help. There are still no supplemental repair funds for roads or trails in the House budget. WTA urges hikers to continue to contact your representative in the House and let them know about the importance of adding these badly-needed funds to the House version of the budget. You can find and e-mail your representative at this site. If you're looking for tips on how to write an e-mail, read this previous post.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.