U.S. Stimulus Bill Provides Billions for Parks, Habitat and Mine Cleanup

The country’s long-neglected national parks will benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars for “shovel-ready” projects, as Bill Schneider details in New West. “‘Congress has approved a reinvestment of more than $900 million in America’s crumbling national park infrastructure–creating jobs in rural and urban communities nationwide, and helping to restore our national heritage, praised Tom Kiernan, NPCA president.”
The new package will also pump funds into NOAA, the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife, as well as restart neglected mine cleanup projects. (As the “environmentally friendly” Beal Mountain mine near Butte, Montana proved, the long-term costs of hardrock mining are almost never borne by the companies that profit from the business.) “The Government Accountability Office estimates there are at least 161,000 abandoned hardrock mines in Alaska and 11 other western states, plus South Dakota. The Environmental Protection Agency says it could cost as much as $50 billion to clean up all the nation’s abandoned hardrock mines.” Joan Lowy of the Associated Press.

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