District 4 Congressman Tom McClintock (R - Elk Grove) was in Oakhurst April 4 speaking at the Sierra Rotary Club and Yosemite High School, stressing the importance for better management of our national forests and keeping the entrance fees reasonable for Yosemite and other national parks.
McClintock opened his remarks before the Oakhurst Sierra Rotary Club members by announcing that the National Park Service has reconsidered its request for a massive fee increase into selected national parks. The proposal applied during the peak season to 17 national parks including Yosemite, called for a $70 entrance fee per non-commercial vehicle, up from $30.
“Keeping fees down in our national parks is important,” McClintock said. “We didn’t want costs to inhibit families from visiting our national parks. We still have infrastructure improvements however that need to be addressed. Overall we have $14 billion in backlogged maintenance infrastructure projects at our parks. We are working on a bi-partisan spending bill that will address these projects.”
McClintock also addressed the need to better manage our national forests.
“Laws enacted in the 1970s make it virtually impossible to harvest wood from our land,” McClintock said. “Our forests are far too dense. When it was properly managed we avoided the catastrophic fires that have devastated California, and this district. Either we manage the forests by careful cutting or we lose them to fire.”
McClintock also addressed the economy.
“We are trying to make our country more business friendly,” McClintock said. “We have repealed over 1,500 regulatory acts. Consumer confidence is high. We have low unemployment. The economy grew 2.9% last quarter and after next quarter’s measurement it could be higher. In some ways, this is reminiscent of a ‘Reagan-style’ recovery.”
Representative McClintock was not without his concerns of our economic future, especially with a possible trade war and government spending. “A potential trade war is a major concern,” McClintock said. “Historically they have been ruinous to our economy. Remember, every producer is also a consumer.”
“We also absolutely need to hold the line on government spending,” McClintock said. “We are still $21 trillion dollars in debt as a nation. That is staggering to think about. It averages out to about $8,000 for every US citizen. The amount needed to service this debt is $475 billion dollars per year. Compare that to our entire defense budget which is $675 billion.”
McClintock is a senior member of the House Natural Resources Committee where he chairs the Subcommittee on Federal Lands and serves on the Subcommittee on Water and Power, which he chaired from 2011 to 2015.
Prior to his election to Congress in 2008, McClintock served 22 years in the California legislature, where he became one of its most recognized conservative leaders. He twice received the Republican nomination for State Controller, narrowly missing election in 2002.
Four Democrat candidates will challenge McClintock in the June 5 primary election - Regina Bateson, Jessica Morse, Roza Calderon and Robert Lawton of Coarsegold.
Republicans hold an almost unbeatable 43 to 29% registration advantage over Democrats in District 4.