Gov. Doug Burgum today expressed his gratitude and support for efforts by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to address the deferred maintenance backlog at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
During his visit to the park today with Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, Zinke underscored the need to address maintenance concerns to preserve parks and provide a world-class visitor experience. The National Park Service, which falls under Zinke’s purview, currently faces a deferred maintenance backlog of $11.6 billion, including nearly $50 million in infrastructure needs at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
“Theodore Roosevelt National Park plays a crucial role in the economy of western North Dakota, attracting $46.7 million in visitor spending per year,” Burgum said, citing a recent report that the park saw 708,000 visitors in 2017. “We’re grateful for Secretary Zinke’s commitment to maintain a strong national park system, just as President Roosevelt envisioned more than 100 years ago.”
Burgum also thanked Zinke for voicing his support for a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota.
Burgum has met with Zinke several times during the governor’s first 18 months in office, as part of his ongoing commitment to building and strengthening relationships with federal partners.
Zinke will deliver the keynote address at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Bismarck Event Center. Burgum will also deliver remarks prior to the address.