As board chairman for Butte schools, I support the proposal to change Craters of the Moon from a national monument to a national park.
Facts: Craters park visitors spent an estimated $7.2 million in local gateway regions in 2014. These expenditures supported 112 jobs, according to a National Park Service study. Other national monuments that have changed to national park status have seen visitation increase 28 percent. Imagine how a similar increase in visitation could boost economic conditions and support even more jobs.
It boils down to a clear understanding of the details: For the record, changing the status of Craters won’t change existing boundaries; causes no change in management or funding; does not change currently permitted activities such as grazing, hunting, and ATVing; and has no cost to the taxpayer. What it does do is shine a spotlight on our region. It is a step in the right direction for improving the economic conditions in the place I call home. This is seriously a win-win for everyone.
Remember the old adage “the fear of change is the enemy of success.” Join with me and voice your support to “Change the Name.” Let’s work together and get Idaho its first national park.
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Marie Cummins, Arco