National Park Projects in Trouble

Pew Trusts Research Suggests $11.6 Billion Backlog in National Parks Maintenance Project Work

As an admirer and very frequent user of our national parks, I had a hunch that something was wrong when I visited my favorite park last fall. Visiting Yellowstone in the months of September and October has worked well for me for decades, as a way to gain almost unlimited access to not only the backcountry but also the main attractions with minimal traffic and inconvenience. However, when I visited last September 18th, I was nearly horrified at the lack of access due to over-use. This started me thinking.

I have been a supporter of a great non-profit organization that works as the official partner of the National Park Service for Yellowstone, known as Yellowstone Forever. I have made a few connections at YF over the years, through which I have gained some insights into challenges being faced by the park. A visit to their website is a great read, especially their Current Projects page. My connection to YF has led me to The Pew Charitable Trusts, and to their initiative called Restore America’s Parks.

I encourage anyone who, like me, has enjoyed the restful solitude of places like Yellowstone, Arches, Canyonlands, the Great Smoky Mountains and many others to dig in to the references above. Once you are better informed of the current critical state of conservation project work in some of our most treasured, yet critically fragile places, I hope you will reach out to me through our Contact Page to join forces with me.

Larry Rogers, Acting Chairperson, The Conservancy Project Study Group

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