The stunning underground limestone formations in Carlsbad Caverns National Park—which celebrated its 100th anniversary this week—are the result of hundreds of millions of years of geology. For a century, the National Park Service has worked to protect these amazing resources and welcome visitors from all around the world to walk through the Big Room and watch as hundreds of bats fly out of the entrance and into the evening sky.
I have worked hard over the last decade to secure more than $30 million for critical infrastructure upgrades, including the replacement of the elevators that transport many visitors underground. In the aftermath of last year’s destructive floods, I am also working to support important infrastructure improvements for the Park’s sewer and water systems, historic buildings, roads, and trails.
PHOTO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich tours Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Photo Credit: Adrian Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus, July 6, 2021.
Three years ago, we passed the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, which is investing nearly $2 billion each year to finally fix maintenance projects on our national parks and public lands that have been put off for years, or even decades, because they lacked enough funding. In the last Congress, I also secured historic funding for landscape and watershed restoration work in both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.
These investments will translate into employment opportunities on our public lands on a scale not seen since the New Deal era’s Civilian Conservation Corps nearly a century ago. The long-term benefits of these projects for the public’s access to the cultural and natural treasures on our public lands will outlive us all.
I am proud to join the Carlsbad and Eddy County community and all New Mexicans in recognizing this major milestone for Carlsbad Caverns National Park. I remain committed to working with all of you to keep securing the forward-looking investments that will allow visitors to explore the Caverns for centuries to come.