Understaffed and Underfunded, The Health Of Our National Parks Continues To Decline

Understaffed and Underfunded, The Health Of Our National Parks Continues To Decline

National Parks

Understaffed and Underfunded, The Health Of Our National Parks Continues To Decline

The most visited national park in the United States | Photo: Vciris68 | Cover: Jeff Gunn

When the Secretary of the Interior has yet to name a director of the National Park Service a year and a half into the job, pivotal staffers speak up.

Related: Pay It Forward | Woman’s Will Names National Parks As $1 Million Beneficiary

The lack of staff and underfunding at the NPS has been a hallmark since Trump took office. And with multiple proposals to vanquish the mounting deferred maintenance costs floundering in the court of public opinion, it’s not looking good for our nation’s greatest treasures.

With large entry fee increases getting the boot and instead being replaced by paltry hikes, the NPS is beginning to downsize. According to High Country News, a series of layoffs are projected as a part of next year’s budget. That leaves not only our parks underfunded but under protected as well.

The 10 most visited NPS sites last year | Image: National Parks Conservation Association

It’s especially worrisome when you consider that park visitation numbers continue to rise. Just last year, the NPS saw in excess of 320 million visitations. High Country News explores this dilema in their article and it’s worth a read if you’re concerned about our parks getting “loved to death.”

Find the High Country News article here: National parks endure rising visitation and less staff

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