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U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich tours Carlsbad Caverns

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U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) found himself about 700 feet underground to see work both ongoing and needed at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

During his Tuesday visit, Heinrich toured the park and learned about work proposed and paid for under the Great American Outdoors Act, a bill Heinrich cosponsored which was passed by Congress last year and signed by former-President Donald Trump.

The Act unlocked federal funds from energy development for the National Park Service, providing up to $1.9 billion every year until 2025 to address deferred maintenance on national parks across the country.

At the Caverns, that means completing a rebuild of the secondary elevator system, which is ongoing, and updating and rehabilitating other infrastructure throughout the park.

Throughout the tour, Carlsbad Caverns Park Superintendent Doug Neighbor presented various aspects of the park to Heinrich, including the park’s air monitoring program and the needs of the underground trail.

He also pitched a collection of unfunded but necessary projects to promote safety and an improved experience for park visitors.

These included an $11.8 million project to upgrade utility infrastructure like fencing and power lines, another $225 million to rehabilitate 19 historic structures in the park and $28 million to rebuild the park’s underground trail system where visitors can see the world famous caves.

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Source: Adrian Hedden for Carlsbad Current Argus

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