Laramie, Wy – A long-standing national park advocate is calling for a ten-year, 800-million dollar commitment from the federal government to fix up the parks. The National Parks Conservation Association hopes that this effort would have the parks in shape for the National Park Service hundred-year anniversary celebration. A spokesman for the group, Ron Tipton, says Yellowstone is high on their list of priorities. "It's under-funded by about 40 or 50 percent. And that's for all kinds of purposes. I mean, the facilities in Yellowstone, the water systems, the sewage systems, the basic infrastructure of that park are in pretty bad shape."
Tipton says he hopes that private foundations and citizens will be inspired to donate money once the federal government shows that it has committed a majority of the funding. The group will find out at the end of January whether or not President Bush has included their request in his budget. Annually, the country spends about 2 billion dollars on the national parks.