Mount Usher-in-More

  • Nose job on Mount Rushmore

    National Park Service
  While the National Park Service may be talking about minimizing vehicle gridlock at Grand Canyon and Yosemite, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota is planning a $16 million parking lot to handle the memorial's annual 3 million visitors. Superintendent Dan Wenk proposes charging drivers $4 to $5 to park to help fund the parking lot. Mount Rushmore Memorial Society, and concessionaire TW Recreational Services Inc., have already raised over $22 million towards the construction of a 49,000-square-foot concession building, employee housing, visitor center, interpretive center, amphitheater and museum. But the $40 million project has its critics. Laura Loomis of the National Parks and Conservation Association says it's a high-cost, short-term solution to too many people. "What do you do when you have the same problem in 10 years and there is no more room to expand? You have to look at alternative ways to manage people." Loomis wants the Park Service to consider solutions it has tried elsewhere, such as staggering entrance times, adding off-site parking, and shuttle buses, and telling the public to think twice about visits on peak weekends.