The U.S. Interior Secretary, David Bernhardt, continued his North Dakota tour today.
He stopped in Bismarck along with Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven, and Gov. Doug Burgum before the group took a trip out to Medora.
Although he oversees 419 national parks across the U.S., Bernhardt took his first tour of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The Governor and our U.S. Senators from North Dakota wanted to highlight the maintenance needs at the park, in hopes Sec. Bernhardt and his department will prioritize it.
Right now, about a six-mile stretch of it is shut down because of maintenance that has been put off. National parks as a whole are now requiring restoration to the tune of $12 billion. $50 million is required just in North Dakota.
“We have the reality that people love their parks. We love them a lot, we visit them. But if we don’t take care of the day to day stuff, it’s just like a person in their home. You know, if you don’t do the upkeep, the paint, the sanding that you need to do, you end up with a deteriorated facility. And that’s where we’re at today,” said Bernhardt.
The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library was another big topic today. Gov. Burgum said fundraising officially kicked off about two weeks ago. Bernhardt said he’s very receptive to collaborating as well.