Obama heads West to highlight national parks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is closing a difficult week by heading west to celebrate America’s national parks as the system nears its 100th birthday

He’ll also highlight threats to the system over the next 100 years, including climate change and underfunding by Congress.

Obama is taking his wife and daughters on a Father’s Day weekend getaway to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and Yosemite National Park in California.

The trip will give him a chance to tout his record on preserving open spaces and argue the economic case for supporting them.

The Interior Department says visitors help sustain thousands of jobs and pump billions of dollars into surrounding economies.

The trip caps a week that opened with the shooting deaths of 49 people inside a Florida nightclub.