I’m just trying to figure out how it is that, when everything is supposed to be going so well economically, the Bush Administration can’t take care of or even fund one of the more popular national parks, the only one with an active volcano in the lower 48 states….
The Coldwater Ridge visitor center at Mount St. Helens could be closed or its operations scaled back after 2007 as the national monument sets its priorities amid federal budget cuts.
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest staff is assessing recreational facilities, including those at the National Volcanic Monument, to determine which will have priority for dwindling dollars. While forest officials said the visitor center will be open next season, they can’t guarantee its long-term future.
Bush administration budget proposals cut recreation funding for national forests in Washington and Oregon for fiscal year 2007 to $21.9 million, down 15 percent from 2005.
Fifteen percent reductions? Oh, I see, we’re supposed to sell the national forest for its own good…. Because $21.9 million to manage 15,827,985 acres of national forest land in these two states reveals just how paltry our attention to ecology really is—that’s $1.38 an acre for maintenance and services. That’s some serious ecology presidency.
No forest left behind.