National parks suffer from $12 billion in disrepair

Posted at 7:11 PM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-09 21:11:42-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- To fix everything that needs repair in Utah’s national parks would take $147 million, and that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the national overdue repair bill across the park system.

According to new numbers from the National Park Service, it would cost $12 million to cover the deferred maintenance across every NPS facility around the country.

In Utah, the biggest problem comes from roads traveled by millions of visitors every year.

“Last year we were visited by over 11 million visitors. Our visitation was up 12 percent last year over the year before,” said Utah NPS director Jim Ireland.

The National Park Services lists just under $70 million in deferred maintenance at Zion National Park.

Aly Baltrus, spokeswoman for Zion, listed the most critical deferred needs for the southern Utah destination:

Kolob Canyon Scenic Drive - $10.5 million

Zion Mt. Carmel Highway - $6 million

Zion Canyon Scenic Drive - $3.1 million

South Campground Roads - $2.5 million

Virgin River Bridge - $661,000

Baltrus said Congress has allocated more funds to repair roads and buildings in 2016, which is the Centennial of the National Park Service.

“There are hopeful signs that Congress has and will continue to allocate additional funding to help the parks in our Centennial year,” Baltrus said.

If you would like to contribute to one of Utah’s national parks, each has a nonprofit organization. Visit their websites in the links below:


Bryce Canyon

Canyonlands and Arches

Capitol Reef