MTPR

National Park Service

Turmoil Shakes Up Agency In Charge Of Vast US Lands

Feb 20, 2018
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Nicky Ouellet

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A year of upheaval at the U.S. Interior Department has seen dozens of senior staff members reassigned and key leadership positions left unfilled, rules considered burdensome to industry shelved, and a sweeping reorganization proposed for its 70,000 employees.

The evolving status quo at the agency responsible for more than 780,000 square miles (2 million square kilometers) of public lands, mostly in the American West, has led to praise from energy and mining companies and Republicans, who welcomed the departure from perceived heavy-handed regulation under President Barack Obama.

Yellowstone National Park's east entrance.
Diane Renkin, National Park Service

A proposed national park fee increase from $30 to $70 for a seven-day pass likely will negatively affect the gateway communities near the parks, according to a new study by the University of Montana.

The U.S. Department of the Interior recently announced its plan to increase fees in 17 of the most-visited national parks in response to a nearly $12 billion backlog due to deferred maintenance. Yellowstone and Glacier parks are on the list for the fee increase.

U.S. Considers Higher Entry Fees At 17 Popular National Parks

Oct 24, 2017
Yellowstone National Park sign
Flickr user Lance Mountain (CC-BY-NC-ND)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The National Park Service is floating a steep increase in entrance fees at 17 of its most popular parks, mostly in the West, to address a backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects.

Visitors to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and other national parks would be charged $70 per vehicle, up from the current fee of $30 for a weekly pass. At others, the hike is nearly triple, from $25 to $70.

A 30-day public comment period opened Tuesday.

Scaffolding at the scorched Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park Conservancy

The fundraising organization for Glacier National Park has hit its goal for donations to winterize the historic Sperry Chalet, partially burnt in a wildfire this summer.

Glacier National Park Conservancy set a goal of $106,000 to assess and stabilize the Sperry Chalet complex, which was scorched by the Sprague Fire this August.

Yellowstone National Park sign
Flickr user Lance Mountain (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Federal investigators said today they found credible evidence that male supervisors and staff in the maintenance division at Yellowstone National Park created a work environment that included unwelcome and inappropriate comments and actions toward women.

Yellowstone National Park Spokesperson Morgan Warthin:

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