Increase Funding to Parks, EPA

What Needs to Be Done to Protect the Environment?

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FILE - In this August 2012 file photo provided by Wolves of the Rockies, the Lamar Canyon wolf pack moves on a hillside in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. The pack's alpha female was among at least five collared wolves from Yellowstone killed by hunters this fall, which prompted Montana wildlife officials to shut down hunting and trapping near the park until a judge blocked the move. Attorneys for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will be in court Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, arguing that wolf harvest closures north of Yellowstone National Park should be reinstated. (AP Photo/Wolves of the Rockies, File)
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FILE - In this August 2012 file photo provided by Wolves of the Rockies, the Lamar Canyon wolf pack moves on a hillside in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. The pack's alpha female was among at least five collared wolves from Yellowstone killed by hunters this fall, which prompted Montana wildlife officials to shut down hunting and trapping near the park until a judge blocked the move. Attorneys for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will be in court Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, arguing that wolf harvest closures north of Yellowstone National Park should be reinstated. (AP Photo/Wolves of the Rockies, File)

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COMMENTARY | There is a famous quote from the Chief Seattle of the Duwamish tribe that goes: "We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."

You could say that people liked his ideas, since they went and named a city after him.

That saying is truer today than it ever has been in American history. Some of the most vocal opposition to spending more to protect the environment is how much it is going to cost today's children when they start paying taxes. The best way to fix that is to increase taxpayer contributions now for services like the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Parks Service so they can work most effectively now and for the future.

As Americans, we cannot complain about a small increase in taxes while our greatest resource, our natural resources, are not being properly accounted for. Infrastructure at some of our national parks is dismal, at best. The destinations are difficult to drive to on crumbling roads, which the NPS cannot afford to repair, and when (or if) you finally arrive, the buildings are, too, falling apart.

The budget for parks stands at around $3 billion. There are, however, almost $10 billion of repairs desperately needed in our national parks at the very moment. Those cannot come soon enough. What needs to happen is a three-fold increase in their budget over the next four years so the parks can be returned to their original glory. With improved parks, there would be a greater number of visitors to the parks, which would bring in increased revenue.

There also needs to be an increase in the distribution of tax dollars to the EPA. We as a nation cannot continue to allow the quality of our air and drinking water to deteriorate. There needs to be much higher standards which much be kept by businesses and by ourselves which much be accounted for. Our appliances, vehicles, factories and homes need to be built to much higher levels of efficiency. Business and private citizens who pollute need to be targeted and fined. Our great country cannot be ruined now and our land not be usable in the future. We need to bring pollution down to zero.

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