Funding the NPS: How Much is Enough?

Well, the clock is ticking on when the U.S. Senate will get around to deciding how much money the Interior Department, and in turn the National Park Service, should get for the coming fiscal year. And the easy money says the senators won't get the task done before that new fiscal year kicks off in October.
If you've been tracking this, you know the House of Representatives decided $1.754 billion should go to NPS operations for FY07, with $599.8 million allocated for maintenance and another $229.3 million for construction. That adds up to, oh, roughly $2.58 billion.
The Senate Appropriations Committee, meanwhile, is recommending $1.751 billion for ops, $603.1 million for maintenance, and $234.9 million for construction, a total also around $2.58 billion. The bottomline difference is about