Fewer drops to drink 

Due to budgetary constraints that are squeezing the park dry, campers heading to the water pumps at three of Glacier National Park’s campgrounds will be met with a sign that reads, “SORRY: Potable water is not available at this campground.”

“Like any household family, we’re facing dire budget constraints and we’re facing increased utility bills,” says park spokesperson Melissa Wilson. “We’re doing our best trying to prioritize our work and create efficiencies wherever we can.”

The budget crunch isn’t unique to Glacier. National parks all over the country are looking for ways to cut back. Seven restrooms have been closed at Acadia National Park in Maine. Grand Canyon National Park officials cut popular education programs by a third. Other parks are cutting back on rangers or visitor center hours.

According to a federal Government Accountably Office report released in April, the National Park Service’s operational budget has increased over the last five years, but after adjusting for inflation the parks don’t have enough money to maintain all their day-to-day operations.

According to Wilson, at Glacier that means, “Resources have been prioritized to be utilized in other capacities elsewhere.”

Translation: Instead of sending somebody to test the water at Quartz Creek, Logging Creek and Cut Bank campgrounds, that person will now spend more time working on general maintenance duties elsewhere in the park.

“In general these are small campgrounds and are more primitive camping experiences,” Wilson says, noting that the 28 campsites located within these three campgrounds amount to only 3 percent of the park’s 1,000-plus campsites. As a trade-off, campers are charged a reduced rate of only $6 per night as opposed to the $12 or $15 charged at the parks more developed campgrounds.

Wilson says the park estimates it will save $6,000 by not having water at the campgrounds. In the meantime, visitors entering the park through West Glacier can enjoy the new stone masonry adorning the entrance sign, which cost more than $64,000. Fewer drops to drink

Due to budgetary constraints that are squeezing the park dry, campers heading to the water pumps at three of Glacier National Park’s campgrounds will be met with a sign that reads, “SORRY: Potable water is not available at this campground.”

“Like any household family, we’re facing dire budget constraints and we’re facing increased utility bills,” says park spokesperson Melissa Wilson. “We’re doing our best trying to prioritize our work and create efficiencies wherever we can.”

The budget crunch isn’t unique to Glacier. National parks all over the country are looking for ways to cut back. Seven restrooms have been closed at Acadia National Park in Maine. Grand Canyon National Park officials cut popular education programs by a third. Other parks are cutting back on rangers or visitor center hours.

According to a federal Government Accountably Office report released in April, the National Park Service’s operational budget has increased over the last five years, but after adjusting for inflation the parks don’t have enough money to maintain all their day-to-day operations.

According to Wilson, at Glacier that means, “Resources have been prioritized to be utilized in other capacities elsewhere.”

Translation: Instead of sending somebody to test the water at Quartz Creek, Logging Creek and Cut Bank campgrounds, that person will now spend more time working on general maintenance duties elsewhere in the park.

“In general these are small campgrounds and are more primitive camping experiences,” Wilson says, noting that the 28 campsites located within these three campgrounds amount to only 3 percent of the park’s 1,000-plus campsites. As a trade-off, campers are charged a reduced rate of only $6 per night as opposed to the $12 or $15 charged at the parks more developed campgrounds.

Wilson says the park estimates it will save $6,000 by not having water at the campgrounds. In the meantime, visitors entering the park through West Glacier can enjoy the new stone masonry adorning the entrance sign, which cost more than $64,000.

  • Email
  • Favorite
  • Print

Speaking of Info

Tags: ,

Readers also liked…

More by John S. Adams

© 2016 Missoula News/Independent Publishing | Powered by Foundation