Department Of Interior

DOI News Header
Office of the Secretary
Office of the Secretary Contact: Dan Dubray
For Immediate Release: Aug. 13, 2004
Interior Assistant Secretary P. Lynn Scarlett Highlights
Investments in Arizona's National Parks

TUCSON, Arizona - Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget, P. Lynn Scarlett, said the Department is making significant investments to improve the visitor experience at national parks in Arizona and is on track to exceed the national goal set by President Bush to invest $4.9 billion over five years to address maintenance issues in parks nationwide.

"Since 2002, the Bush Administration has invested more than $104 million in more than 300 projects to preserve and protect Arizona's national treasures," Scarlett said today. "In these past years, the administration's commitment to the nation's parks and to the visitors who enjoy them has been strong and unwavering. In recent decades, the National Park Service has among the best in terms funding provided to non-defense agencies. Operating funding for parks has increased 352 percent since 1980 compared with an overall increase in domestic spending of 138 percent. Americans love our national parks; we are making the investments to improve them and the experiences for our visitors."

Arizona's 20 units of the National Park System attract more than 10.2 million visitors annually. Following a tour of Saguaro National Park, Scarlett highlighted the following accomplishments:

  • At Saguaro National Park, 33 projects, valued at $3.6 million, have been completed or are underway including rehabilitation of the park's Loma Verde Trail, which has suffered from erosion and heavy use. The trail is an important park asset enjoyed by hikers and horseback riders.
  • " At Petrified Forest National Park, approximately $3 million has been made available to fund rehabilitation of the historic Painted Desert Inn, which is expected to be completed in July 2005. The park has also done extensive work on replacing 13 miles of water line at a cost of $5.9 million. This project is typical of the types of delayed maintenance projects that have been addressed by the Bush Administration. The water line was built 60 years ago by the Civilian Conservation Corps and its failure has health and environmental consequences
  • At Casa Grande Ruins National Monument efforts are underway to preserve earthen
    interior and exterior walls of the Great House, an 800-year-old, four-story structure constructed by the Hohokam people who inhabited the area from 500 to 1400 A.D.
  • At Arizona's most famous national park, Grand Canyon, a total of 91 projects representing a $37.7 million investment have been completed, are planned or are underway. The projects include repairs to two of the park's most heavily used trails, as well as repair and rehabilitation of park restrooms, and renovation of a historic ranger station.

During her appearance at Saguaro today, Assistant Secretary Scarlett also made available a comprehensive report on Department of the Interior investments at National Park Service facilities across Arizona. To view the Arizona National Parks Report, please visit



Selected News Releases