Last year U.S. Interior Secretary Zinke and Utah Reps. Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart couldn’t wait to wrestle national monuments away from the American people and turn them over to private interests for development.

This year, they’re all about coming up with funds to cover badly needed infrastructure repairs and such in our nation’s national parks (The Tribune, Sept. 25) with a hint that such repairs could be financed by monies received from those who will pay to extract resources from or use current and former public lands. Accordingly, fewer tax monies will be needed to cover national park repair and maintenance costs which will in turn be financed by private companies and individuals.

Does anybody buy this scenario? I sure don’t. Not much will be done to improve the parks, because the resource extraction fees government will charge won’t be large enough to do that. Further, could someone explain to me why asking for $6.5 billion for national park maintenance over the next five years (the figure reported in The Tribune article) is such a big deal while the U.S. national budget lavishes more than $500 billion per year on the military?

Chuck Tripp, West Valley City