The saying “loved to death” has become a popular way to refer to the NPS, which struggles to cope with their crumbling infrastructure amidst increasing visitation. Katie Lozancich Photo.
Last Wednesday, the Trump Administration announced some uplifting news for the National Park Service: $256 million of funding to go towards revitalizing park infrastructure.
The funding is a momentary reprieve for the NPS, who is currently inundated with $11 billion in backlogged maintenance. According to a press release from the Department of Interior, the money will be spread between 22 different parks and monuments.
While it might not be noticeable to all who visit the country's national parks, the roads, trails, waterways, and campgrounds at many of the parks across the United States have been in decline. Even the most minute of things—drinking fountains or bathrooms—demand some quality TLC.
The funding will address different needs for each location. For example, in Yellowstone, about $21 million will be put towards rehabbing the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel guest room wings, whereas in Yosemite roughly the same amount will be used for rehabilitating the Wawona Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The announcement follows last year’s huge visitation levels—330 million recorded across all parks. With this year expected to surpass that, making any sort of progress in regards to the upkeep is imperative for the Park Service to thrive.
"The President is a builder, he loves to build and he loves our National Parks, so it is a natural fit that the Administration is dedicating so much attention to rebuilding our aging parks infrastructure. These approved projects are more than just line items on an Excel spreadsheet,” stated Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke in a press release.
“They have a tangible effect on a person’s experience when visiting our nation’s parks," Zinke continued. "Today’s announcement is another step toward eliminating the more than $11 billion in maintenance facing the National Park Service.”
The backlogged maintenance has been one of Zinke’s most pressing problems since taking his role in 2017. While this funding will only make a small dent in the situation, it’s a step in the right direction.
Breaking news today from Patagonia's HQ. For the first time, the company is endorsing two candidates running for the U.S. Senate whose platforms align with their environmental goals. Here's their press release: To get involved in the November midterm elections, visit Protect Our Winters and register to vote. These endorsements, while new, continue a stream of efforts made by Patagonia to emphasize the value and importance of public lands and the environment,
Bad news, everybody. NOAA recently released their U.S. Winter Outlook for the 2018/2019 season, and it doesn’t look good for those who love cold, snowy weather. The report calls for a warm and dry winter in much of the West, and estimates a 70-75% chance of El Nino developing. These predictions are based on observations of three climatic phenomena: ENSO, the Arctic oscillation, and the Madden-Julian oscillation. It's going to be a wet winter down South. Too bad there isn't much
A screen grab from Surfline's Bethune Beach cam with the aquatic culprit circled in red. Since 2016, Volusia County on Florida’s east coast has had a reported 23 shark bites on humans, giving them their not-so-glamorous title of the “Shark Bite Capital of the World.” Kara Haun, who had a recent encounter with a spinner shark, might be considered lucky that the fish only landed on her. "It kind of felt like a car landed on me,” said Haun to News Six after she was safely ashore. As terrible