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How Will Stimulus Help the Parks? At Great Sand Dunes National Park It Could Mean Reclamation and Restoration


Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, as viewed from Zapata Falls Recreation Area. NPS photo by Patrick Myers.

Although the National Park Service didn't receive as many stimulus dollars as it could put to work, that doesn't mean that the $750 million or so won't go to good use across the park system.

For instance, at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado, the funds could help pay for reclamation of abandoned sand and gravel pits. Or it could be put to use on restoration and refinishing of wood structures built under the Work Progress Administration in the 1930s, or to replace a 30-year-old liquid petroleum gas system with a modern system.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, no doubt to gain some favorable PR for the Obama administration, headed to Great Sand Dunes on Sunday to point out the possibilities that the stimulus funds could turn into realities.

“Here, in my native San Luis Valley," said Secretary Salazar, "there is an urgent need to deploy President Obama's recovery plan so that we can help turn our economy around. The president's plan will not only help people get back to work, but it will restore the luster of some of our nation's crown jewels, like Great Sand Dunes National Park and the San Luis Valley's national wildlife refuges. These proud places will benefit greatly from these investments.”

According to Interior Department officials, the department's various agencies -- such as the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- will create about 100,000 jobs over the next two years thanks to the stimulus funding.

Possible projects include investments in conservation projects, water infrastructure, roads, Native American schools, and other ready-to-go projects related to the department’s work.

Wildlife could benefit, too, as the reclamation of the abandoned sand and gravel pits at Great Sand Dunes will help in the effort to restore native trout to Sand Creek.


"...the reclamation of the abandoned sand and gravel pits at Great Sand Dunes will help in the effort to restore native trout to Sand Creek..."

America is shedding a half a million jobs per month with millions more at risk. The nation turns to our government for help, and our drunk on pork Congress bails out the trout at Sand Creek. Leadership, or foolish greed?

Print, borrow & spend. That certainly sounds like a proven and sure path to prosperity.

Those moronic idiots in DC are just about to go on their last big spending spree before the whole rotten edifice they sit upon topples unto the scrapheap of history where it mostly surely belongs.

I'm really beginning to enjoy the spectacle of it more and more.

Does it really mater if they spend it on Goldman Sachs, Chrysler & GM, Fannie & Freddie or in soaking the streets of Fallujah and Kirkuk in oceans of innocent blood? Maybe it'll be a new jet plane for the Emperor or just maybe it'll be spent to restore the trout of Sand Creek. What possible difference could it make how they blow their ill-gotten play money?

On thing is for sure: This puppy is going down and going down hard!

So sit back and savor this one folks. The death of an empire is a compelling thing to witness. I'm going to be here to watch every minute of it.

Here's to the trout of Sand Creek!

Open the dunes up to ORV traffic to help fund any restoration and see the dollors roll in. Plus more people will be able to enjoy it.

Red Mountain Rob

I wish I had been born smarter instead of the handsome creature that I am! Truth be, I don't know if the Presidents plan will work or not. I do know we've have 8 years or tax cut or relief in various forms _ and it has not worked. We are in a mess. No sense on blaming it on Republicans or Democrats, they/we've all hand a hand in it. FDR's Hoover Dam is credited with putting people to work and helping end the Great Depression, Eisenhower"s Interstate Road Program changed how we travel and put people to work. There's that word again _ work _. And that is the key to this thing I think. So many people are out of work, and so many more are afraid of losing there job they have stopped or greatly curtailed spending. I think many of us don't relate to unemployment, kinda like surgery. Its minor surgery if its on you and major surgery if its me going under the knife.

I cannot think of a major project that would put a lot of people to work, so its a lot of small projects that will put people to work. Maybe. I know its hard to call these projects small when each gets millions upon millions. If your on this site I assume you love the outdoors and the greatest park system in the world that is ours to enjoy and protect. At least we will get something out of this.

When I hear all the bitching and moaning I have to remind myself _ we are all on the same team (aren't we?)

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