As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary on Thursday, Americans should take a moment to consider how they can ensure the health of their national treasure for many generations to come.
There is already a backlog of maintenance projects, including deteriorating roads, buildings and sewage systems, that will cost $12 billion to fix. Each year the NPS goes to Congress asking for funding for its operating budgets but almost always gets less than it requests. What would entrance fees have to be today to cover operating costs? Not very much. Yellowstone, with more than four million visits in 2015, could have covered its operating budget with a daily fee of $11.
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