by Countable | 1.9.18
A recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that the National Park Service "is grappling with $11.3 billion in deferred maintenance at the more than 400 sites it manages."
"Roads are crumbling, trails are blocked, buildings are deteriorating, and water and sewer pipes are leaking."
"Years of inconsistent congressional funding have made it difficult for NPS to make all of the needed repairs, which means the agency has had to postpone less critical maintenance," according to the report.
But the name of the 2017 study suggests a possible boon to paying down the repair backlog: "Restoring Parks, Creating Jobs: How Infrastructure Restoration in the National Park System Can Create or Support Jobs." The report found that "110,169 jobs could be created or supported by investing in infrastructure and preservation projects that are on NPS’ complete deferred maintenance list.”
The Trump administration, however, is looking into ways to slash the agency's discretionary budget by 13 percent and shrink its workforce by more than 1,200 employees.
To offset the $11 billion maintenance backlog, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has proposed raising the entrance fees at America’s busiest national parks to $75 per car, up from the current rate of $25 to $30.
How should the maintenance backlog be addressed? Should Congress increase NPS’ budget? Should national parks raise their fees? Have you experienced crumbling roads and blocked trails at your favorite park? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your comments below.
(Photo courtesy National Park Service)
Written by Countable
Our national parks are extremely important for the mental and physical health of our nation. During Trump’s campaign he promised to fund infrastructure repair, which should include national parks. If we can’t fund our national parks why are we even talking about funding a border wall? This is not good prioritizing.
Every issue has to become Trump is an Ogre. What about the 8 years of nothing that Obama did as steward to the national parks? This didn’t happen overnight and last time I remember he spent a Trillion dollars on “infrastructure”. Yet somehow we are a few billion dollars short? Apparently his union buddies (who kicked back a percentage) were more important than the divine and Elysian national parks. Here is an idea. Public lands are now available for oil and gas exploration. Take a percentage of that for national park maintenance when they start actively drilling.
Trumps idea again favors the rich. The National Parks are for EVERYONE!! How about creating more jobs that are actually needed. Oh by the way, all those Latin Americans that he wants deported are ready, willing, and able to do those jobs unlike most Americans!!
Our national parks are true national treasures. Surely their maintenance is on the “to do” list to “Make America Great” Or was that just a nonsense slogan to rile up the hoy poly while you reduced taxes for your donors? Do you know we can see you?
John Katko. National parks are more important than military bases. Please fund them accordingly.
We the people know all of this and have for years So why the f is anyone even dreaming about using tax dollars to build a useless border wall? Dumb 💩 must stop now We just gave all our infrastructure money to the richest 1percent and corporations Disgusting how the rich old white boys destroyed our country for money Someone remind them they can’t take it with them and a general rule for inherited money, it’s gone within one generation
PREPARE for the Trumpublicans to put a “FOR SALE” sign on all public property... FIRST they will privatize the NPS because it will be “too expensive”... they will blame the NPS for poor management... not themselves for not funding.
If more people really grasped that they OWN public parks, public highways, public buildings and seashores then they might practice good stewardship. When will we have a monthly day of volunteerism? We must bring back both the carrot and the stick to encourage better behavior among the masses.
If we are really so far behind, we should not be slashing the budget. National parks is one thing that I think the federal government needs to fund adequately.
It’d be sweeet if we could stop filling the pockets of the wealthy and pissing our tax money away on useless bullshit and actually fix our own country and help our own people. I know that’s a realllllly weird thing to think about but, fuck. This is insane.
We largely, live in a world divorced from nature and our children’s lives follow our own. There is nothing more grounding than a visit to one of our National American treasures. We are custodians of these places, and as such we must raise our voices to protect them. It is challenging to see how Mr Zinke could stand up for our parks when I’m sure that Mr Zinke never stood foot in a national park, unless it was at the side of an accessor. Raise your voice. Call and email your representatives. And Vote. #Vote2018 #Vote2020 #StopTheDrilling/Mining
It has been said that national parks are America’s greatest contribution to the world. I believe that from a conservation standpoint. It is hard to reconcile the wealth transfer to the billionaire kleptocracy while this great resource of the people crumbles. We must fund our national lands infrastructure and secure this magnificent resource for our future generations! No mining, oil & gas extraction, exploitation by corporations for profit! Resist!!!!
Raising the admittance rate from $25 to $75 for parks is shutting the breathtaking view of the Grand Canyon from many Poor Americans. They are entitled to see it. It is their right. The traditional family vacation trek out west stopping to see Yellowstone, etc. would be unaffordable to many. You could have kept just 1% more of the corporate tax cut you shoveled to your friends, paid for all, the maintenance, reduced admittance rates, and added your great leaders face to Mt. Rushmore. No, now you demand 18 billion to build an ego driven wall along the southern border but want to shut off the poor from national parks. So thoughtful, so compassionate, so Republican.
The National Park system is a gift to all people by the American people. It protects nature. It restores the soul. It is necessary for the health of the Earth. Give it the money needed. Get the money from raising taxes on big business & the rich & begin taxing religious institutions. And, give Rinke a job cleaning out outhouse pits. In fact, make the entire 45 gang do that.
Dear Texas politicians: Keep America Great by funding national park maintenance, not a wall. And keep your hands off Alaska’s Bristol Bay Wilderness while you are at it.
If the current administration had their way, they would put them all up for sale. These havens of our heritage and humanity must be preserved! If this administration can increase our deficit by trillions, they need to preserve these lands. We do not need a Border Wall and definitely do not need to fund this administration’s working vacation spots every week or month. So much of our tax dollars have been wasted by this group of greedy socialites! Americans need to wake up and realize the importance of caring for our country!
Why fund public lands maintenance? If we actually pay for the services that we demand of the government we will not be able to provide tax cuts for those who need tax cuts the least and the huge corporations and the wealthiest 1% will do what stop buying and investing and live off their wealth? Let’s pay for few required services and provide greater tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest of the 1%.
The maintenance backlog should be part of improving infrastructure and creating jobs.
One of Teddy Roosevelt's greatest accomplishments was the creation of the system of national parks in this country. They are not only a tourist destination for Americans and foreign visitors, they are an important part of the ecosystem and environment of the US. They support animal and plant life essential to human life and need to be protected and maintained. Raising entry fees to obscene levels will not solve the maintenance issues they face. A portion of the entry fees collected are already supposed to remain in the local parks for maintenance, by law. The NPS recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding with record numbers of visitors throughout the system - 330 million in 2016. If every park charged an average of $20/car and you assume there are four visitors/car, the entry fees collected throughout the system were $1.65B. By law, 80% of that money is retained by the park for the maintenance programs being discussed here - a total of $1.32B. Where has all that money gone? Instead of raising the fees to a level that will prevent most Americans from enjoying their national heritage, shouldn't the government figure out where the current money is being wasted? I could certainly do a lot with $1.32B.