U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines brought together community leaders and the National Park Service yesterday in Gardiner, Montana to discuss the challenges that national parks have on gateway communities. The discussion was part of an official Senate Subcommittee on National Parks Field Hearing.
Panelists included Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly, West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce Director Marysue Costello, Cooke City Water District President Deb Purvis, Flathead County Emergency Manager Rick Sacca, and Gardiner Public Schools Board of Trustees Chairman Pat Baltzley.
To watch the full hearing click HERE.
Gardiner, MT only has 875 residents, while the community accommodates a large portion of the 4 million visitors to Yellowstone National Park each year. The large number of visitors each year puts a strain on Gardiner’s local infrastructure, leaving the small handful of residents who actually live in the town responsible for generating the tax revenue to pay for it.
The field hearing was held at the Gardiner Public School where folks saw firsthand the challenges gateway communities of national parks can have on local infrastructure. Gardiner Public School needs a new roof and boiler, but lacks a sufficient tax base to pay for upgrades.
Daines looks forward to working with the local community and stakeholders to find a feasible solution.