Revisiting the consensus for national parks.
Volume 34, No.1, Summer 2015
In 2016, the National Park Service will celebrate its 100-year anniversary. The agency is responsible for managing some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.
But as the National Park Service prepares for its second century, the agency faces considerable challenges. National parks have a massive $11.5 billion maintenance backlog, causing leaky wastewater systems and deteriorating roads, trails, and bridges. Congress is unlikely to solve the problem. And with more than 400 park units—including several new monuments and historic parks—the agency is spread thin.
Creative solutions and responsible policies are needed. This issue of PERC Reports explores several ways to reduce the National Park Service's reliance on Congress, improve park maintenance and operations, and prepare our parks for the challenges of the twenty-first century.