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National parks deserve recognition

National parks provide Minnesota with widely popular tourism, educational opportunities and simply an area for locals to relax. With the passing of National Park Week in April, I agree with Kate Lidfors Miller, the author of "National parks crumbling, need support" (Pine Journal, April 26), who claims our national parks deserve more recognition. They deserve this as well as the maintenance and funding Miller describes would be necessary in order to preserve Minnesota's gems.

As an avid user of Minnesota's national and state parks, I believe the potential funding that would be provided by the National Park Restoration Act would have a considerable impact. A brief 10-minute drive from my home to Jay Cooke State Park is a perfect example of the restoration these outdoor attractions demand.

After Cloquet's eye-opening flood of 2012, the iconic "swinging bridge" was destroyed. With the help of $1.1 million, the bridge was restored to mimic the original 1934 design and once again provide users with an exciting way to cross the St. Louis River. Repairs like this, but often on a lesser scale, are needed in the national parks.

Support from the public crucial when supporting national parks. As both a community and country, we need to bring more attention to this topic. As stated in the article, the outcome of improving the quality of our parks wouldn't be the only advantage of restoration — jobs would also be created. Restoration projects are beneficial to communities as a whole.

Simply put, avoiding the problem would be unwise and a wasted opportunity.

Elise Pickar

Cloquet

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