Despite All the Talk About A Bountiful NPS Budget, Not All National Parks Doing Well

Trunk Bay is one of the popular destinations at Virgin Islands National Park. Photo by Robert C. via flickr.

We've heard lots about how bountiful the National Park Service's 2008 budget is thanks to the Bush administration. Well, don't let that talk make you think all is great across the park system.

Head down to Virgin Islands National Park and the superintendent will tell you about his staffing shortfalls and his $22 million maintenance backlog.

At the same time, the folks at the Friends of Virgin Islands National Parkwill tell you how they hope to boost their annual fund-raising from $725,000 to $900,000 to help the park meet its shortfalls.

So despite the good news that is trickling down -- and it is good to hear that Park Service funding is on the upswing -- don't think for a minute that the park system is well-off. There still are numerous areas of concern -- whether they involve a lack of full-time rangers, too many maintenance needs, or too few interpretive programs -- that need to be addressed system-wide.