Park Service upgrade could gin up 1,100 NM jobs


The National Park Service has roads, trails, buildings, and water and sewer systems spread out over 400 locations. Together, these assets are like a small metropolis, with 12,500 miles of roads, 18,000 miles of trails, 28,000 buildings and 1,800 sewage systems.

According to a new report by the Cadmus Group for the Pew Charitable Trusts, more than 40,000 of these assets need some kind of repair or maintenance, and that work has the potential to create 110,000 jobs around the country - 1,132 jobs in New Mexico alone.

"As the NPS begins its second century, it is grappling with $11.3 billion in deferred maintenance at the more than 400 sites it manages," writes Pew. "Roads are crumbling, trails are blocked, buildings are deteriorating, and water and sewer pipes are leaking. Years of inconsistent congressional funding have made it difficult for NPS to make all of the needed repairs, which means the agency has had to postpone less critical maintenance."

National park sites in New Mexico saw 1.8 million visits in 2016 and supported 1,685 jobs in the state, according to the analysis.

Contact Bruce Krasnow at brucek@sfnewmexican.­com. This story first published in the Santa Fe New Mexican, a sibling publication of The Taos News.