National Parks to get millions for maintenance



By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Recognizing that U.S. National Parks are in need of an injection of cash to handle deferred maintenance backlogs, it was of interest that Ryan Zinke, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, appeared before the press to announce funding to help cover the backlogs. 

Zinke made the reveal July 22, using Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park as a backdrop. A total of $53 million is headed out to 29 states, to handle needs in 42 of America’s parks. Of the funds, $20 million will be taxpayer provided by Congressional allocation. The balance of $33 million will be made by contributions from non-governmental organizations. The money will make improvements to trails, enhance visitor access, and help restore park buildings. 

By comparison, the most recent U.S. National Park Service-provided statistics (September 2016) show the real needs of the nation’s natural gems:

Total deferred maintenance for parks:                     $11.331 Billion

Allocated as follows:

Paved roads and structures:                                         $5.668 Billion
(bridges, tunnels, paved parking areas, paved roadways)

All other facilities:                                                           $5.663 Billion
(campgrounds, buildings, housing, trails, waste and water systems, unpaved roads and parking areas, dams, and more) 

The current White House budget proposal would cut $400 million from the National Park Service for fiscal year 2018. 


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As a proponent of MBWA (Management By Walking Around) I say executives need to get out of the office and see what is happening at the working level, so the trip is worth the cost. Even better is to do it “Undercover Boss” style so the opinions are unfiltered. And then act on the information to improve things (for everyone, not just the few who get to tell their own stories.)

David Kotler

That is a small amount for our treasures! We the People of the United States, Inc., is a new 501(C)(3) public charity set up to do more for our National Parks with the help of the people and business. Please check out our website; http://www.rebuildnationalparks.orq .

Lee Ensminger

I wonder how much it cost us to send Zinke to Colorado for that announcement, which could easily have been made by a phone call from his office or presented at the daily White House press briefing?