NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

National Parks Need Fixing

August 19, 2003

Roads, lodging and waste-water treatment plants in the nation's 388 national park areas are in dire need of repair, says the Washington Times.

There is now a nearly $5 billion repair backlog, and President Bush has called upon Congress to fix the deteriorating situation by providing adequate funds for his National Parks Legacy Project.

Two years ago, Congress allocated about $1.8 billion for the project, and this year, Bush has asked for $1.1 billion more. That money has been used for evaluating the extent of the backlog, prioritizing needs and making repairs. Some examples:

  • About $6 million is being spent on the development of a new wastewater treatment plant at Yellowstone.
  • Some $64,000 has been allocated to repair the severely eroded self-guided trail at Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Around $32,000 has been spent removing asbestos from the public auditorium of the Manzanar National Historic Site, a preserved Japanese relocation camp.

Some 900 such projects have been completed since Bush announced the Parks Legacy Initiative, and about 900 more are scheduled for the next two years.

Source: Editorial, "Funding a legacy," Washington Times, August 19, 2003.


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