Daines seeks increased visitation at smaller Montana national parks

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) this week urged the bosses at two national parks in Montana to help improve visitation at some of the state’s smaller parks.

“As we continue to see record-breaking visitation numbers, encouraging visitation to smaller parks in Montana is imperative to both reduce stress on larger parks and promote healthy gateway economies in other regions,” Sen. Daines wrote in an Oct. 9 letter sent to Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cameron Sholly and Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow.

“Tourism is one of Montana’s leading economic drivers, which is why I am committed to increasing visitation to all of Montana’s national parks, battlefields, historic sites and more,” added the senator.

Sen. Daines also pointed out in his letter that he recently hosted a field hearing at the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site as chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources National Parks Subcommittee, which examined ways to expand visitation at lesser-known national parks in the state.

“One of the suggestions discussed at the hearing,” Sen. Daines wrote, “was for less-visited parks to partner with Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks to promote visitation. Others suggested increasing coordination among Montana’s park units to accommodate tour groups, particularly those interested in making multiple stops or expanding their current itineraries.”

Although he doesn’t consider such suggestions to be comprehensive solutions, Sen. Daines told the park superintendents that he’s interested in working with them to explore these and other possible solutions.