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Democrats Criticize National Parks Budget Cuts In Trump Proposal

The Mountain West is home to a large portion of the nation's national parks, including Arches National Park in Utah.
National Park Service
The Mountain West is home to a large portion of the nation's national parks, including Arches National Park in Utah.

House Democrats railed against the Trump Administration’s proposed National Parks budget in a committee hearing this week.

Audio FileClick 'play' to hear the audio version of this story.|


<--break->The Trump Administration wants to allot the National Park System about$2.7 billion. This would be about a 15% decrease. Democrats on aHouse Natural Resources Subcommittee said that’s not enough. They highlighted the continued maintenance backlog in the park system.Democratic Representative Deb Halland from New Mexico called the budget proposal “reckless and irresponsible.” 

“It only raises further questions about this administration’s prioritization of certain uses over the health of our public lands,” Halland testified. 

Acting National Park Service director Daniel Smith defended the president’s proposal, saying, “There are tough decisions to be made in the budget process.” 

Smith also pointed out that he’s hoping Congress will pass a public lands infrastructure bill that would help pay for the backlog. 

National Parks saw more than 300 million visitors last year, for the fourth consecutive year in a row. 

Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter  @amandapeacher .

Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho,  KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio News. To see more, visit .

Amanda Peacher is an Arthur F. Burns fellow reporting and producing in Berlin in 2013. Amanda is from Portland, Oregon, where she works as the public insight journalist for Oregon Public Broadcasting. She produces radio and online stories, data visualizations, multimedia projects, and facilitates community engagement opportunities for OPB's newsroom.
Amanda Peacher
Amanda Peacher works for the Mountain West News Bureau out of Boise State Public Radio. She's an Idaho native who returned home after a decade of living and reporting in Oregon. She's an award-winning reporter with a background in community engagement and investigative journalism.