OLD FAITHFUL (KIFI/KIDK) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivered a message of hope to Yellowstone National Park employees on Thursday afternoon, outlining President Trump's plan to fund the nation's oldest national park.
"We would like to express our determination that this park and all of our national parks are preserved for this generation and every American generation," Pence said.
Flanked by Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Second Lady Karen Pence, the Vice President acknowledged the $600 million in the park's deferred maintenance costs.
"Hopefully we'll get that bill to the President's desk, and we'll have more resources to clear that backlog to make sure Yellowstone and all of our national parks are pristine and accessible," Pence added.
However, that's still only a small piece of the overall $12 million still needed in parks nationwide.
In 2015, Yellowstone saw four million visitors to the park for the first time, ever, and that number has steadily increased, despite last year's fee increase to help with the deferred maintenance costs.
Pence said the Department of the Interior already requested $20 billion in next year's 2020 budget, with $3 billion set-aside specifically for the National Park Service.
This is part of the Trump Administration's proposed 'Public Lands Infrastructure Fund' White House officials are about to unveil to Congress.
"We will dedicate 50-percent of all of the revenues from leases on public lands to improve and maintain the infrastructure of our national parks," Pence added.
Bernhardt said on Tuesday, the Western Governor's Association approved a bipartisan plan to rebuild all of our national parks, however, the details of that plan have not been released.
Before any money can start flowing into the park, it must first be approved by Congress.