Crime America's National Park DM&R Backlog Swells, US Congress Proposes More Cuts

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https://rollcall.com/2023/10/03/maintenance-backlog-grows-at-national-parks-as-funding-tightens/

Absolute Failure of an Institution.

<36>

And I'm talking about our shithouse Congress, to be clear. I mean, yeah, it's a sizable chunk of change by any measure. Yet consider the federal government somehow managed to spend $6.27 trillion for FY2022, of which the NPS received a beyond laughable $3.6 billion while being expected to accommodate total visitation numbers for the year that exceeded 312 million people -- nearly the equivalent of the entire country's population.

That isn't budgetary "mismanagement", it flat out isn't remotely enough funding period. To make matters even more dire, the agency is woefully understaffed with park rangers being paid like fast food workers. By all accounts, the American public holds an overwhelmingly favorable view of both the NPS and its national parks, but public pressure to create any political will here is practically nonexistent. Are people indifferent or just ignorant and unaware?

sr-2023-03-30-Agency-Fav-01.png


(DM&R = Deferred Maintenance & Repairs)

Teddy Roosevelt told us to keep these national treasures.

Grand Teton, Wyoming (DM&R: $180 Million)



Grand Canyon, Arizona (DM&R: $829 Million)



Yellowstone, Wyoming (DM&R: $1.0 Billion)



Yosemite, California (DM&R: $1.1 Billion)

 
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Our NPS is the last place I’m worried about overspending. If the god damn park was in a foreign country that facilitated our industry of war we would fund the fucking thing. No questions asked.
 
Our NPS is the last place I’m worried about overspending. If the god damn park was in a foreign country that facilitated our industry of war we would fund the fucking thing. No questions asked.

I visit GCNP quite a bit since it's only a short drive and I'm honestly surprised that the overdue maintenance is only $829 million. I wouldn't exactly say the place is falling apart - the canyon itself shrugs at all of this - but there's a shit ton of supporting infrastructure in place to make it accessible to its millions of annual visitors: 9 campgrounds, 939 buildings, 595 miles of hiking trails, 125 miles of paved roads, 150 miles of unpaved roads, 15 waste water systems...like, yeah, that costs money.
 
I visit GCNP quite a bit since it's only a short drive and I'm honestly surprised that the overdue maintenance is only $829 million. I wouldn't exactly say the place is falling apart - the canyon itself shrugs at all of this - but there's a shit ton of supporting infrastructure in place to make it accessible to its millions of annual visitors: 9 campgrounds, 939 buildings, 595 miles of hiking trails, 125 miles of paved roads, 150 miles of unpaved roads, 15 wastewater systems...like, yeah, that costs money.

Was in RMNP mid September. A lot of infrastructure and construction going into the park before winter. There is also a timed entry which should help with the over abundance of crowds wear and tear on the area; but prob decreases the admission fees collected. The park was overcrowded four years ago when we went about the same time of year. But oh man did it make it more enjoyable and less of an every and any asshole convention this go round.
 
https://rollcall.com/2023/10/03/maintenance-backlog-grows-at-national-parks-as-funding-tightens/

Absolute Failure of an Institution.

<36>

And I'm talking about our shithouse Congress, to be clear. I mean, yeah, it's a sizable chunk of change by any measure. Yet consider the federal government somehow managed to spend $6.27 trillion for FY2022, of which the NPS received a beyond laughable $3.6 billion while being expected to accommodate total visitation numbers for the year that exceeded 312 million people -- nearly the equivalent of the entire country's population.

That isn't budgetary "mismanagement", it flat out isn't remotely enough funding period. To make matters even more dire, the agency is woefully understaffed with park rangers being paid like fast food workers. By all accounts, the American public holds an overwhelmingly favorable view of both the NPS and its national parks, but public pressure to create any political will here is practically nonexistent. Are people indifferent or just ignorant and unaware?

sr-2023-03-30-Agency-Fav-01.png


(DM&R = Deferred Maintenance & Repairs)

Teddy Roosevelt told us to keep these national treasures.

Grand Teton, Wyoming (DM&R: $180 Million)



Grand Canyon, Arizona (DM&R: $829 Million)



Yellowstone, Wyoming (DM&R: $1.0 Billion)



Yosemite, California (DM&R: $1.1 Billion)

The highest "Not Sure" on that list: is that number so high because they really don't know how they feel about that organization, or because they are fearful if they say they have an unfavorable opinion of that organization?

Also, why was the DOD not listed...or TSA...or State Department? Heck, there are a lot of federal agencies not listed in that graphic. What determined which would be surveyed and which ones wouldn't?

I see that 28% of the employees within the National Parks Service are veterans. It seems like a good jobs program for those with veterans preference. Plus, national parks are simply awesome.
 
Solution:

Sell the National Parks to venture capitalists, mining companies, real estate developers, silicon valley billionaires and foreign capital. Because everyone knows the government is shit / inefficient at running anything. Private commercial entities are the best at managing and protecting resources.
 
Was in RMNP mid September. A lot of infrastructure and construction going into the park before winter. There is also a timed entry which should help with the over abundance of crowds wear and tear on the area; but prob decreases the admission fees collected. The park was overcrowded four years ago when we went about the same time of year. But oh man did it make it more enjoyable and less of an every and any asshole convention this go round.

The American West is so geologically blessed for scenery man, god damn. It's wild that Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and (begrudgingly) California alone have an outright lion's share of the contiguous 48's natural wonders and certainly the crown jewel parks. Like literally two dozen full blown national parks and countless dozens of other national monuments and national recreation areas between them.
 
By all accounts, the American public holds an overwhelmingly favorable view of both the NPS and its national parks, but public pressure to create any political will here is practically nonexistent. Are people indifferent or just ignorant and unaware?

Americans view the NPS favorably and love the national parks but only from a distance, preferably on the couch with a pizza in one hand and cell phone in the other.

Including all categories of parks within the system, there is less than one visit per person each year. The national parks themselves have closer to 0.25 visits per person each year. It's easy to view something favorably when you rarely interact with it but have nice pictures in your head.
 
"the agency is woefully understaffed with park rangers being paid like fast food workers."

Currently fast food workers on the west coast are being paid better than those rangers.

Federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009, $7.25 an hour is what I got paid as a high school student working at mcdonalds in 1997.
 
https://rollcall.com/2023/10/03/maintenance-backlog-grows-at-national-parks-as-funding-tightens/

Absolute Failure of an Institution.

<36>

And I'm talking about our shithouse Congress, to be clear. I mean, yeah, it's a sizable chunk of change by any measure. Yet consider the federal government somehow managed to spend $6.27 trillion for FY2022, of which the NPS received a beyond laughable $3.6 billion while being expected to accommodate total visitation numbers for the year that exceeded 312 million people -- nearly the equivalent of the entire country's population.

That isn't budgetary "mismanagement", it flat out isn't remotely enough funding period. To make matters even more dire, the agency is woefully understaffed with park rangers being paid like fast food workers. By all accounts, the American public holds an overwhelmingly favorable view of both the NPS and its national parks, but public pressure to create any political will here is practically nonexistent. Are people indifferent or just ignorant and unaware?

sr-2023-03-30-Agency-Fav-01.png


(DM&R = Deferred Maintenance & Repairs)

Teddy Roosevelt told us to keep these national treasures.

Grand Teton, Wyoming (DM&R: $180 Million)



Grand Canyon, Arizona (DM&R: $829 Million)



Yellowstone, Wyoming (DM&R: $1.0 Billion)



Yosemite, California (DM&R: $1.1 Billion)



GC is gearing up to spend about 250 million starting this year to replace the entire water treatment and pumping system in the park.

It's still a drop in the bucket, but it's a start.
 
GC is gearing up to spend about 250 million starting this year to replace the entire water treatment and pumping system in the park.

It's still a drop in the bucket, but it's a start.

The official non-profit partner of the park (GCC) does a lot of great work. I've noticed a sort of feminist-centric tilt to it as an organization recently, but no matter. I've never been happier to have a donation based membership because I can literally see with my own eyes where that money goes in tangible upgrades.

The two most recent things they've done are partial trail restoration on South Kaibab down to Ooh Aah Point, which makes sense since the vast majority of visitors aren't hiking beyond that (good for me) and swapping out thousands of light fixtures around the village to keep the park dark-sky certified and compliant.
 
I visit GCNP quite a bit since it's only a short drive and I'm honestly surprised that the overdue maintenance is only $829 million. I wouldn't exactly say the place is falling apart - the canyon itself shrugs at all of this - but there's a shit ton of supporting infrastructure in place to make it accessible to its millions of annual visitors: 9 campgrounds, 939 buildings, 595 miles of hiking trails, 125 miles of paved roads, 150 miles of unpaved roads, 15 waste water systems...like, yeah, that costs money.
I got to take a RV up to the grand canyon park from one side, ran into RV issues and turned around. I also went up the Colorado river on a jetski towards the Grand Canyon park from the other side, never entered the actual park. Also stood on the site of the picture in your AV. That whole Utah / Arizona area is very underrated and definitely one of the top areas in America.
 
The official non-profit partner of the park (GCC) does a lot of great work. I've noticed a sort of feminist-centric tilt to it as an organization recently, but no matter. I've never been happier to have a donation based membership because I can literally see with my own eyes where that money goes in tangible upgrades.

The two most recent things they've done are partial trail restoration on South Kaibab down to Ooh Aah Point, which makes sense since the vast majority of visitors aren't hiking beyond that (good for me) and swapping out thousands of light fixtures around the village to keep the park dark-sky certified and compliant.

I agree. Regardless of their politics, they're one of the few non-profits in the NPS that attract big donors and help the park MASSIVELY. This water system replacement is in part because of lobbying the government that it was a crisis. which it is, because it was built back in the 70's when there were about 1/4 of the people there are today visiting the canyon. It's going to be a wild project. Helicopters are going to be need for the vast majority to get the equipment and materials into the canyon.

During a training I was at, I got to visit the new helipads and warehouses they were constructing in the run up to the project and it's like a miniature city.
 
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