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Financial mobility is one of the obstacles that keeps many locals from visiting Washington’s national parks. To that end, I’m glad to see that the parks will offer free admission for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

However, we should also be wary of the crippling effects of a $12 billion repairs backlog that threatens to make parks less accessible, and endangers the health of these ecosystems.

On the precipice of a major political transition, we need to urge the federal government to take action to fund public lands. I urge Washington’s senators and representatives to make funding the national parks — the state’s environmental heritage and a major catalyst for many local economies — a priority.

Happy trails.

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Ian Reid, Seattle