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Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to visit Grand Canyon this weekend

Posted: 3:06 PM, Sep 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-18 18:06:03-04
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to visit Grand Canyon this weekend

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is visiting the Grand Canyon this weekend to highlight overdue maintenance projects.

Zinke will lead a volunteer project to paint the exterior of six cabins built in the 1930s. The historic Labor Cabins once used by seasonal workers were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Zinke's visit Saturday also includes a tour of areas that represent maintenance backlogs across the National Park Service. The Interior Department has been trying to tackle the nearly $12 billion problem.

A bill in Congress would establish a fund to reduce the backlog using money the government gets from energy development.

Zinke's visit comes on the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day. The Grand Canyon and other land management agencies are waiving entrance fees Saturday to celebrate.

This week, the Interior Department also announced Arizona would receive $2 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to go toward state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects. A total of $100 million was awarded from the fund to all 50 states, territories and the District of Columbia.

The fund is supported by lease revenue from the Outer Continental Shelf and not by tax dollars.