Pew Charitable Trusts Releases Data Visualization on $11B National Parks Maintenance Backlog

$11B: A Big Number made more Understandable

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.

How the work breaks down

Categories listed by Pew include in yesterday’s news release include: Continue reading “Pew Charitable Trusts Releases Data Visualization on $11B National Parks Maintenance Backlog”

A Great Example of Conservation that Works!

Introducing The Western Rivers Conservancy

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!”

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. Continue reading “National Park Projects in Trouble”