Daines holds hearing on Montana tourism


MONTANA SENATOR
STEVE DAINES – HELD A
SENATE FIELD HEARING
TODAY IN GARDINER ,
MONTANA. TODAY’S HEARING
OFFERING LOCAL
RESIDENTS – A
SOUNDING BOARD TO
REGISTER THEIR
STRUGGLESIN DEALING WITH AN EVER
INCREASING NUMBER OF
TOURISTS VISITING
YELLOWSTONE PARK. MTN’S JOHN SHERER
REPORTS

JOHN SHERER/MTN
NEWS: JUST ACROSS A FOOTBALL FIELD FROM
THE HISTORIC STONE
GATEWAY TO
YELLOWSTONE
NATIONAL PARK,
SENATOR DAINES GATHERED A SMALL
GROUP OF
REPRESENTATIVES FROM
COMMUNITIES THAT
NESTLE RIGHT UP TO
THE PARK ENTRANCES IN WEST YELLOWSTONE,
GARDINER AND COOKE
CITY. EACH HAS ITS OWN
UNIQUE STRUGGLE AND
UNIQUE NEED FOR ASSISTANCE.

PATRICIA
BALTZLEY/GARDINER
PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD:
“INCLUDING HOUSING SHORTAGES,
ESCALATING REAL
ESTATE PRICES,
TRANSITION OF HOUSING
FROM FAMILY RESIDENCE
TO VACATION RENTALS AND THE CHANGING
HIRING PRACTICES OF
THE AREA’S MAJOR
EMPLOYERS.”

JS: GARDINER IS
LANDLOCKED BY
FEDERAL LAND AND REAL
ESTATE PRICES ARE
SKYROCKETING. THIS IS
PRICING OUT FAMILIES AND HAS LEFT THE
SCHOOL WITH FEWER
THAN 200 STUDENTS FOR
THE FIRST TIME IN
DECADES.

IN WEST YELLOWSTONE THE ISSUE IS WILDFIRES. THE COMMUNITY WANTS
A SEAT AT THE TABLE IN
WILDFIRE MANAGEMENT
AND IT WOULD LIKE TO
SEE THE PARK GATES
LEFT OPEN YEAR ROUND.

MARYSUE
COSTELLO/WEST
YELLOWSTONE
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: “OUR
COMMUNITY WOULD BE
BETTER ABLE TO
DEVELOP A SUSTAINABLE
YEAR ROUND ECONOMY
WITH SUCH A CHANGE.”

IN COOKE CITY THE
ISSUE IS WASTEWATER
BECAUSE THERE IS NO
TREATMENT PLANT, JUST SEPTIC FIELDS.

DEB PURVIS/COOKE
CITY WATER DISTRICT
PRESIDENT: “IN 2009 WE
HAD 4,000 VISITORS TO OUR COMMUNITY
CENTER IN 2017 WE HAD
23,000.”

THAT’S A BIG STRAIN ON A SEPTIC SYSTEM, AND
COOKE CITY NEEDS HELP
DEALING WITH IT.

NEW PARK SUPERINTENDENT CAM
SHOLEY, IN JUST HIS
SECOND DAY ON THE
JOB SAYS HE WANTS TO
LISTEN AND LEARN.

CAMERON
SHOLLY/YELLOWSTONE
NATIONAL PARK
SUPERINTENDENT: “I CAN’T THINK OF A
BETTER WAY TO START A
JOB THAN TO BE HERE
AND HAVE THESE TYPES
OF CONVERSATIONS
RIGHT OFF THE BAT AND TO LISTEN TO PEOPLE’S
PERSPECTIVES.”

FOR SENATOR DAINES,
IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEMS IS JUST HALF
THE BATTLE. TO
ADDRESS THESE ISSUES,
HJE NEEDS TO FIND THE
MONEY. SEN. STEVE DAINES/R-
MONTANA: “WE CRACKED
THAT NUT ON THE
MAINTENANCE BACKLOG. WE LOOKED AT SOME OF
THE OFFSHORE ENERGY
REVENUES,
DEVELOPMENTS BEING
DONENENENENEL
LANDS AND TAPPING INTO THAT TO FUND OUT
MAINTENANCE
BACKLOGS. I THINK THAT
COULD BE AN AREA WE
COULD LOOK AT.”

SO THAT’S THE BIG
ISSUE HERE. NOT WHAT’S
NEEDED BUT HOW TO
GET THE MONEY TO
DELIVER THAT ASSISTANCE AT A TIME OF
TIGHT BUDGETS AND
GROWING NEEDS. IN
GARDINER I’M JOHN
SHERER FOR MTN NEWS. DAINES HOPES THE
SENATE WILL PASS
ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO
ADDRESSA GROWING
BACKLOG OFNATIONAL
PARK INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS.

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