KBZK: Acting NPS Director in Bozeman for Lawmakers Gathering

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Acting Director of the National Park Service, P. Daniel Smith, addressed lawmakers from around the country during a roundtable event in Bozeman Friday morning. He stressed the need to fund deferred maintenance projects which currently total more than $11 billion.

“You name a park and a state in the west and it’s a tremendous part of our deferred maintenance,” said Acting Director Smith. He says Yellowstone is over $500 million in deferred maintenance. Projects that have been put off in Yellowstone include sewer.

The visit is part of a three day trip to Montana put on by the Western Caucus. Senator Steve Daines (R- Montana) is the chairman for the Senate side of the Caucus. Lawmakers included in the caucus will tie the states major industries, including agriculture and fishing gear manufacturer Simms, plus make a trip to Yellowstone.

Sen. Daines said, “We have a once in a generation opportunity right now where the House, the Senate and the Administration are lining up.”

Money for the backlog of projects will come from resources development on federal lands, both offshore and on, according to Senator Daines.