- Associated Press - Saturday, February 27, 2016

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Grand Teton National Park would need nearly $208 million to repair roads, fix buildings and perform other types of overdue maintenance in the park, according to the National Park Service.

That “deferred maintenance” tab, equal to about 15 times the park’s recent annual base budget, is part of the $11.9 billion maintenance backlog that saddles parks across the nation.

The $106 million in needed roadwork is the largest contributor to Teton park’s deferred maintenance, Chief of Facility Management Chris Finlay said.

“Road assets account for half of the value of the (infrastructure) portfolio and half of the deferred maintenance associated with it,” Finlay told the Jackson Hole News & Guide (https://bit.ly/21uQ7Jl).

Other major components of Grand Teton’s maintenance backlog are buildings ($39.5 million), water and wastewater systems ($37.5 million), trails ($15.5 million) and housing ($3.7 million). Those numbers, released this month, are estimates from the end of fiscal year 2015.

Sometimes the park’s little-used assets gradually degrade and have little chance of attracting funds to be shored up, Finlay said. But in other ways the park has made good headway on its backlogged maintenance, he said.

The Jenny Lake trails overhaul and the coming wastewater plant at Moose are examples of projects that will slash into the bill. The removal of unused non-historic buildings also helps the cause, Finlay said.

“I think we are definitely addressing deferred maintenance successfully,” Finlay said.

But as time goes on, Grand Teton also adds and inherits more infrastructure, he said. As the new assets age they inevitably require maintenance, and if funds aren’t procured the work is added to the backlog. The 16 miles of multiuse pathways the park has added to its 330,000 acres are an example.

Yellowstone National Park’s $604 million maintenance tab dwarfs that of its smaller, more southerly neighboring park.

Factoring in all of the National Park Service’s Wyoming properties - Devils Tower National Monument, Fossil Butte National Monument and others - the total comes to $842 million.


Information from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, https://www.jhnewsandguide.com

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