Bill targets $11.6 billion backlog of National Park maintenance projects [photos]

Measure introduced by Sen. Alexander would use money from energy leases on federal land

Janese and Randy Passow of Minocqua, Wis., check out the view from Point Park Wednesday, March 7, 2018 in Lookout Mountain, Tenn. The two were sight seeing and taking a vacation from the 10 degree weather in their hometown.

A bill introduced to Congress on Wednesday could help with the years-long backlog of maintenance projects at National Parks, including projects in Tennessee and Georgia.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and a bipartisan group of senators and representatives introduced the National Park Restoration Act, which would use money from energy leases for onshore and offshore federal land to pay for park maintenance and repairs. The bill would create a restoration fund to provide mandatory funding for high-priority projects at National Parks.

"Addressing the maintenance backlog will help attract even more visitors and create more jobs for Tennesseans," according to a statement from Alexander. "We must continue to work together to find solutions to the many challenges facing our public lands, and this legislation takes an important step toward doing that."