Billings Gazette: Daines secures national parks week

National parks will get a week of observance this month, a gesture U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said should raise awareness later about needed park maintenance.

During last year’s centennial of the National Parks Service, roughly 331 million visitors went to national parks. Yellowstone National Park recorded 4.2 million visits. Glacier National Park reported nearly 3 million visits.

“They truly are something that sets America apart. It’s part of our national heritage, as Americans,” Daines said. “We’re known for our national parks.”

Daines said the Senate’s unanimous vote to recognize national parks for the week beginning April 15 was a good marker to put down ahead of discussions about the $11.9 billion maintenance backlog at national parks.