A U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, in voicing his frustration with the operation of the National Park Service, criticized two Michigan landmarks calling them "more egregious, wasteful or otherwise questionable expenses" to be found in the country.
Sen. Tom Coburn zeroed in on Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior and Keweenaw National Historical Park as created just to satisfy political desires.
The Detroit Free Press reports Coburn's 208-page report, "Parked: How Congress' Misplaced Priorities Are Trashing Our National Treasures," claims an $11.5-billion maintenance backlog has been caused by a refusal to "ensure that those parks and memorials with true national significance are given the care they deserve."
Michigan lawmakers have fired back at Coburn, pointing out the importance of those landmarks to local economies.
Being a lifelong Yooper, I know national parks like Isle Royale and Keweenaw Historical Park are critically important to our economy and our way of life up here in Northern Michigan," said U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek. "In fact, outdoor recreation generates over $18 billion in consumer spending in Michigan and accounts for 194,000 jobs in the state. Preserving these very special places in Northern Michigan is not a waste. We need to ensure the beauty of Isle Royale and the history of the Copper Country is available for our children and grandchildren to enjoy forever.â??