Souder's Roadshow Heads to Seattle
Mark your calendars. Barring a last minute change, Congressman Mark Souder of Indiana will bring his national parks roadshow to Seattle on Monday, September 12th. The Republican will open a hearing on national park funding in the Lewis Creek Visitor Center at 5808 Lakemont Boulevard in Bellevue. The meeting should run from 10 a.m. to about 1 p.m.
Souder, who along with Rep. Brian Baird of Washington co-authored the National Park Centennial Act, has been staging meetings around the country to investigate funding problems with the national parks. The centennial act as written is designed to wipe out the Park Service's funding backlog, which has been pegged at somewhere between $4.5 billion and $9 billion, by 2016, the year the agency celebrates its centennial.
Apparently Souder's efforts are not overly popular with the Bush administration. Afterall, back in 2000 one of President Bush's campaign promises was to wipe out the massive maintainence backlog that is slowly eroding the national parks. To have a member of his own party going around the country checking into just how bad things are on ground level, well, that's not terribly good PR for the president.
But Souder is plugging along, and his efforts should be applauded and supported.