Interesting article in the WyoFile the other day about the costs of rescuing people (or recovering bodies) in National Parks. While I'm never sure if articles like this are reporting on an actual issue or if they're making an issue out of something that just is, the author found some sources who think that the National Park Service shouldn't be on the hook for the occasionally high costs of rescues.
The author focuses on a recent rescue attempt turned body recovery in Grand Teton National Park that ended up costing the park $115,000. Turns out that in 2009, search and rescues ran the Park Service - and therefore taxpayers - about $4,800,000. The majority of the 3,568 searches, at least according to officials interviewed in the article, are short searches for lost children or disoriented tourists.
It's search and rescues in the rugged, remote parks that end up running up the Park Service's search and rescue tab - like Denali and Grand Teton. So, the reporter asks several officials, should the U.S. implement high fees for all climbers, mountaineers, or others who pursue "high-risk" activities to help cover the costs, or should it require insurance or post security bonds like in Europe, South Asia, and other Himalayan Countries, or should it do something different?
The rub isn't that the cost is that big a chunk of the Park Service's $2.75 billion budget, but there's no dedicated search and rescue fund. So whatever costs are incurred, they're pulled from other programs, like interpretation.
Interesting no doubt. Let's hope TeaBagger Politicians don't read the WyoFile, they'd be all over cutting such "wasteful spending" from the Park Service. That is until their daughter wanders off from a Yellowstone Campground and they get the bill from the ranger who finds her feeding the morning's bacon to grizzly cubs.
Photo from by Jackie Skaggs Grand Teton National Park - via the WyoFile
MILAN – Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt died Monday after a
high-speed downhill crash at the Giro d'Italia, the first death in a
major cycling race in 16 years.
The 26-year-old rider fell during a descent more than
12 miles from the finish in northern Italy. He lay motionless and
bleeding heavily on the roadside before paramedics removed his helmet
and tried to resuscitate him.
"He was unconscious with a fracture of the skull base
and facial damage," Giro doctor Giovanni Tredici said. After 40 minutes
of cardiac massage we had to suspend the resuscitation because there
was nothing more we could do." (source: AP)