Housing is a priority for improvements at Roosevelt National Park | North Dakota News

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BISMARCK, ND (AP) – Employee housing is a priority as officials plan to upgrade and modernize aging facilities at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The park’s planning team is consulting with Native American tribes and the State Historic Preservation Office on long-term goals for North Dakota’s top tourist attraction.

Park Superintendent Wendy Ross proposed a list of improvements that also includes improvements to administrative facilities, visitor centers, park entrances and parking. Public comments on the plans are expected before November 30.

Housing is “the # 1 driver of improvements and deferred maintenance in the park,” said Ross, given the park’s small neighborhoods and limited housing availability in western North Dakota.

“We need to make housing our number one priority,” she said.

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Badlands Conservation Alliance president Lillian Crook said her organization would follow the planning process. She is aware of the housing challenges since joining the park staff and is excited about the park’s partnership potential, reported the Bismarck Tribune.

“The challenge we face when responding to the needs of visitors is balancing this with the unspoiled landscape in accordance with the mission of national parks,” said Crook.

Ross would like to see the Painted Canyon Visitor Center become a “year-round multi-agency information center,” rather than a rest area on the highway.

Partnerships with the state government and the future presidential library Theodore Roosevelt could potentially “provide this welcome center in western North Dakota and a gateway to the national parks in the west,” he said. she declared.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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