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National Parks Have Long To-Do List But Can't Cover Costs

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National Parks Have Long To-Do List But Can't Cover Costs

Postby ERIC » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:43 am

National Parks Have A Long To-Do List But Can't Cover The Repair Costs
Updated March 8, 20168:43 AM ET
Published March 8, 20164:59 AM ET

There are more than 150 historical structures at Joshua Tree National Park, like this schoolhouse at Keys Ranch. Jason Theuer's job is to decide which ones to protect and preserve, based on the available resources, and then do just that. He says it feels like being an ambulance driver.

Driving through the gold-brown savanna of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California, past its Dr. Seuss-like trees and water-carved rocks, it's easy to see why the national parks have been called America's Best Idea.
Spend a few hours with some of the park's employees, like Cultural Resources Branch Chief Jason Theuer, and you'll see that national parks are also another thing: expensive. There is a nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog of work that needs be done but isn't because of limited money.

Theuer's job is to preserve and maintain some of the historical structures here— sites like Keys Ranch, the sprawling high-desert homestead deep in Joshua Tree's interior. The ranch's schoolhouse, which is about 80 years old, looks like it was cobbled together with salvaged materials. There are no studs keeping the walls straight and upright, so now there's as much light pouring in through the warped wooden-plank walls as there is through the windows.

"We came in and added all of these supports here," Theuer says, pointing to a beefy frame built up against the building's interior. Without it, it's hard to imagine the building standing up to a good sneeze.

Tourists at Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona wait for a shuttle bus in 2015. For years, the Grand Canyon and other big national parks have been seeing rising attendance.

The wooden frame and...

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Re: National Parks Have Long To-Do List But Can't Cover Cost

Postby rlown » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:00 pm

the comments section of that report was more telling. All the overhead costs to preserve structures; studies, contractors, etc. We (taxpayers) really don't want to pay for all that overhead. Not saying some things shouldn't be preserved, but at what cost? $30k-$40k per year for a schoolhouse although historical isn't used anymore? I love the wood they used, though.

Thanks for sharing it, ERIC!
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Re: National Parks Have Long To-Do List But Can't Cover Cost

Postby sekihiker » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:18 pm

Most of trapper Shorty Lovelace's cabins in Kings Canyon NP have been let go. I think the one near Vidette Meadow is being preserved, but I doubt if it costs much. Probably takes no more than new shingles every 20 years. See:
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