In its latest release, the Pew Charitable Trusts Restore America’s Parks initiative has helped to clarify the huge backlog in maintenance work at our National Parks by sharing charts and graphics showing how that large number is broken down into categories of work.
But, fair warning! You may find a surprise or two in the newly detailed list of project categories (at least, I did). For example, who knew that the National Park Service has responsibility for maintaining missile silos? Seriously, missile silos? Pew’s research adds definitions to each category, and yes, my eyes went straight to the definition for missile silos. “Missile Silos are defined as raised or underground structures that are used to store or fire missiles…,” the research tell us. I’m still confused about that one.
I wish someone would let us know if any of this backlog has been included in the current budget, next year’s proposed budget, or simply getting kicked down the road for future generations.
Let’s face it, our National Parks, wild lands and wildlife are in danger
You can read articles on this site about the $11.6 Bn backlog in funding of maintenance projects at our National Parks. We don’t know how bad it is for other protected lands and wildlife. The good news is, we believe there will be progress in Congress and the states to start clearing this backlog soon, possibly as soon as this year.
“Organizations charged with executing the backlog of project work could be overwhelmed”
My story is no different than most personal accounts of people who were born in the 1950s and lived through the sock-hop rock-n-roll Sixties, the tie-dyed Seventies, the Cold War Eighties, the internet-connected Nineties, the Great Recession of the 2000s, and now the Age of Enlightenment 2010s. I have sleep-walked through several of those decades, experienced the highs and lows of social interaction, found a successful trade that I could turn into a career, and then, finally, “Thank God!” I found something that I really enjoy doing. For me, it was photography, and specifically, digital photography that unleashed my creative desires, awakened me at night with new ideas, and yes, photography gave me a reason to experience the most wonderful places on planet Earth. Oh, just one more thing…I found love, too, but that’s a story for another day.
“Thank God! I found something that I really enjoy doing!”
National Parks Maintenance Funding Could Provide Needed Jobs
In a March 19, 2018 post, The Pew Charitable Trusts released results from a Pew-commissioned analysis that found that fully funding the backlog of maintenance projects at US national parks could provide as many as 110,000 new jobs.
In the post, Pew says “More than 180 groups representing engineers, architects, planners, and trade and professional associations are asking lawmakers to provide the funding the National Park Service needs to address $11.6 billion in overdue repairs.”
In my previous post, I mentioned that I have a wonderful relationship with a non-profit organization that supports Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Forever. I have learned pretty much my entire body of conservation knowledge from that organization, through personal contacts in the organization and through connections on LinkedIn. Relationships such as this are a great way to get started in conservation.
It was during a conversation with one of my YF connections that I first learned about The Western Rivers Conservancy. Here is a wonderful example of thinking outside the box (just as we are) to have a significant impact on the conservation of endangered lands. In a nutshell, the mission of WRC includes the purchase of endangered lands for set-aside. One example near and dear to my heart is their purchase of mineral rights in a former mining area very close to the park boundary at Yellowstone. A review of their website will lead the reader into more details on the projects they currently have under way, and past accomplishments. Continue reading “A Great Example of Conservation that Works!”
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.