A bill to fix our national parks has bipartisan support and may pass

There are hundreds of national park sites with outstanding repair needs that are putting a strain on park resources and impacting the experience of visitors. But bipartisan support is building in Congress for legislation that would provide funding for deferred maintenance projects across the park system, estimated to total nearly $12 billion. 

Members of Congress have been touring parks to raise awareness of the issue. Since mid-February when a bi-partisan group of representatives and senators introduced bills H.R. 1225 and S. 500, one out of three senators and half of House members have signed on as co-sponsors. The Trump administration has also indicated they are supportive of the legislation.

Voters are, without a doubt, supportive of fixing the national parks. A Pew Charitable Trusts Foundation poll found that over 75 percent of voters indicated they are willing to provide up to $6.5 billion over five years.

Pisgah View Ranch likely to become a new NC state park

Chances are there’s a new state park coming to North Carolina. A plot of land owned by U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn Jr., the 1,600-acre Pisgah View Ranch in Candler, may soon become a North Carolina State Park. Cogburn’s family has owned the land since the late 1700’s, but if the House approves the bill and Governor Cooper signs it, Pisgah View Ranch will transfer into the hands of North Carolina and become the state’s newest state park. 

The unique piece of property sits in the shadows of Mount Pisgah and has more than two miles of ridgeline, a headwaters and its own watershed. It also serves as a wildlife corridor for animals like bear and deer. North Carolina currently has 39 state parks, but Buncombe County does not yet have one. 

Woman riding horseback along the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline route

A Virginia woman is riding her horse 600 miles along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to protest and bring attention to it. Sarah Murphy, 34, lives just eight miles from the pipeline in Afton, Virginia. She began her journey last year with her horse, Rob Roy, at the start of the pipeline in West Virginia. They traveled for three months before taking a winter break. Murphy is now just a few counties away from where the pipeline, and her journey, will end.

Though Murphy is riding to protest the pipeline, she has met and stayed with folks on both sides of the fence, from pipeline employees to families who have been negatively impacted by the pipeline. Murphy says that she has learned a lot and has been saddened to see some of the destruction to the land that she grew up on and loves. She has been keeping a blog about her journey: https://acponhorseback.tumblr.com/.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is slated to run 600 miles between West Virginia and eastern North Carolina. Construction began in May 2018.