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Zinke Comes To Utah To Address Backlog Issues

Zinke Comes To Utah To Address Backlog Issues
September 26
09:00 2018

Saying the national park experience is “what we all hold sacred,”Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited Zion National Park Monday to address the burgeoning maintenance backlog. Zinke was accompanied by three Utah Congressmen, who are sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would allocate federal energy revenues to road and facility upkeep and visitor safety measures.

Parks, public lands, and refuges carry a $16 billion deferred maintenance backlog; Utah’s price tag is $260 million. Zinke attributes half of the deficit to roads; one-third of those are off-park gateway roads that the National Park Service is charged with maintaining. Park visitation topped 330 million in 2017; 10.5 million toured Utah’s five national parks.
Representative Chris Stewart says restricting visitor numbers is “the worst choice.” Stewart is sponsoring legislation to turn Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument into a national park.

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