Mount Rainier Repair Monies Found
Good news for Mount Rainier: $36 million has been "found" to help the park repair damage done by early November's deluge.
Half of the money will come from unspent highway and construction accounts within the Federal Highway Administration, with the other half coming from somewhere in the Park Service. While that's certainly good news. I'm wondering where, and why, during these supposedly cash-strapped times the Park Service has $18 million lying around?
Shortly after the torrential storms struck Rainier, Olympic, and Glacier national parks David Barna, the Park Service's communications chief, told me the agency only had a few million dollars for help with these kind of emergencies. So where did the agency find $18 million in loose change?
No doubt there's a logical explanation, and hopefully it will surface.
But don't you wonder how, at a time when parks are cutting staff, programming and resource protection, the Park Service in the past six months has managed to scrounge up $28 million in unspent funds? First former Director Fran Mainella found $10 million for a visitor center at Mesa Verde, and now $18 million has surfaced for Rainier.
And if this funding was taken from previously appropriated projects, it sure would be interesting to know which now are unfunded.