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Politics & Government

First Lady Melania Trump Visits Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks



Visitors to Wyoming's National Parks could run into the First Lady during their trips this week.

Melania Trump kicked off her two-day visit to the state by greeting a members of a Boy Scout troop in Jackson Hole's town square. Also on her agenda are a Snake River rafting trip with local fourth graders and trip north to Yellowstone National Park on Friday.

"In her time as first lady, Mrs. Trump has been a strong proponent of preserving national treasures so that people may enjoy and appreciate their historic value to the nation for generations to come," the White House wrote in a statement.

John Garder, senior director of budget and appropriations for the National Parks Conservation Association, said he hopes the First Lady will take note of issues like overcrowding during her visits to the Parks.

"Hopefully she can recognize that our parks need funding to address those visitation needs, and that means the President proposing budgets that are actually helpful for our National Parks," Garder said.

Garder also noted that more than $11 billion of National Parks repairs and maintenance have been postponed for over a year due to budget constraints.

"What [the Trump Administration] really needs to do is call on Congress, work with Congress, to pass a bill that would address the Parks Service deferred maintenance backlog," he said.

On Friday, the First Lady is expected to promote her youth wellness campaign "BE BEST" and encourage families to take advantage of the National Parks Service's "Every Kid Outdoors" program, which offers fourth graders across the country free passes to visit federal recreation areas including National Parks.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Savannah Maher, at smaher4@uwyo.edu.

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