Mount Rainier Superintendent Wants Big Changes in Next Decade
David Uberuaga's a man with a plan when it comes to the appeareance of Mount Rainier National Park in another decade. He wants smoother roads, well-kept hiking trails, even a shuttle bus visitors can ride to negotiate the park.
These are just a few of the plans Uberuaga, the park's superintendent, wants to implement in time for the National Park Service's centennial in 2016. Some of these ideas sound a bit bold -- repaving the park's road system? That seems a bit pricey in these austere days at the NPS. Still, you gotta like his moxie.
“I’m not satisfied with the status quo," he told the Tacoma News Tribune the other day. "We have 10 years to pull together goals that emphasize the legacy of Mount Rainier. If you start 10 years ahead, you have a lot of time to do things."
Another project on the superintendent's to-do list is restoring the Sunrise day lodge, which currently is pretty weary. Once upon a time park officials decided to raze the building and replace it with a smaller ranger station. Now they're talking about spending $5 million or so to remake the lodge. This makes sense to me, as the Sunrise area is popular with hikers and a day lodge where they could take a break, perhaps grab a bite to eat, and simply get directions or in out of the cold would be welcomed.
Uberuaga's overriding mission?
"I think the goal is that the visitor can come in 2016 and say, ‘Wow, this place is looking good. It’s well run and looks good.’ It’s preserving what we have,” he told the newspaper.
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