RMNP currently has more than $84 million in deferred maintenance, according to a National Park Service reportIt’s a topic that Darla Sidles, the park’s superintendent, was able to further contextualize during Zinke’s visit.

“We are now the fourth most visited national park in the country with 4.4 million visitors last year,” Sidles said. “That has influenced some of the wear and tear of these park facilities.”

RMNP issues do not exist in a vacuum. There have been a number of proposals on ways to deal with the massive amount of maintenance being put off on public lands.

“We didn’t get $11.7 billion behind overnight, this has been multiple administrations, so how do we do it going forward,” Zinke said.

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