Christopher M. Hearsey

Democratic Candidate
Maryland's 6th Congressional District

Protecting our Inspiring National Landscapes

Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns called our National Parks, “America’s Best Idea”, and I could not agree more. I have taken Amtrak from Montgomery County to Glacier National Park in Montana. I have traveled to the battlefields, trails, and other historical sites of our region.

To me, the parks are not just another line item on the federal budget, they are an enduring testament to American history and its values. I believe that our state and national parks are now and should forever remain the birthright of every American. Regrettably, the National Park Service is facing one if its greatest threats in its 100-year history. It is a crisis of neglect that has taken the form of deferred maintenance projects, insufficient funding, and a Congress and Administration that pays lip-service to these issues. The National Park Service maintains more than 75,000 assets across the country, including campgrounds, natural lands, historic trails, irrigation and electrical systems, as well as thousands of miles of roads. Of these, 41,000 – or more than half – need repairs. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers 2017 Report Card, Maryland needs almost $80 million to repair much of its park system. This includes fixing trails, restrooms, and other non-transportation facilities.

In Congress, I will fight to protect the legacy of our state and national parks and ensure that access remains affordable for all Americans. I believe it is fundamentally important to preserve the low cost all access passes that provide entry to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. I will fight to preserve the best deal in government, an $80 lifetime access pass for senior citizens, and to ensure that veterans never have to pay to visit any public lands. We must preserve the promise of our forebears to manage and conserve the public lands for the benefit of the people in our generation, and for all generations that follow.