Olympic National Park Can’t Possibly Afford Its Visitor, Infrastructure Needs

More and more people are visiting national parks, media channels are flooding consumer publications with features on the parks, congressional interest seems higher than ususal, and yet parks are struggling to get by, according to the National Parks Conservation Association.

The parks advocacy group points to Olympic National Park as just one example of the funding struggles pulling at the National Park System. According to the group, Olympic “receives only approximately 60 percent of the funds it needs to adequately serve visitors, maintain roads and trails, and protect internationally recognized natural resources.”

The report comes as members of Congress work to strike a spending deal to provide funding for our national parks and other federal programs and agencies with a looming December 11 deadline, and as the National Park Service rapidly approaches its 100th anniversary in 2016, an NPCA release notes.

In a special report, Park on the Edge, NPCA officials say years of inadequate funding “have led to Olympic National Park’s $133 million buildup of maintenance needs for trails, visitor centers and other facilities – contributing to the more than $11 billion backlog across the National Park System.

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