Senate bill looks to alleviate park crowding, gateway stresses

A congressional bill sponsored by Montana Sen. Steve Daines aims to bolster gateway communities overrun with burgeoning tourism on federal lands by tapping federal coffers to address local housing, infrastructure and other visitation woes.

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, has co-sponsored the bill — the Gateway Community and Recreation Enhancement Act — which has been referred to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Daines is the ranking Republican member, and King chairs the underlying Subcommittee on National Parks. Its oversight includes the National Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Trails systems, recreation areas and historic sites, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.