In this May 16, 2021, file photo, early-rising visitors to Acadia National Park await the sunrise on the summit of Cadillac Mountain, near Bar Harbor. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Maine’s independent senator and a colleague from Montana want more staffing at America’s National Parks to keep up with increased attendance.

Sens. Angus King of Maine and Steve Daines of Montana said visitation and workloads have increased in the parks system, but employment numbers have not kept up. They said park staffing has steadily declined over the course of the last decade.

King and Daines told the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee that a good staffing level would be 23,000 full-time equivalent positions. That figure was 18,567 in fiscal 2020, the senators said.

The senators said the increased staffing is needed in a time when “many of the nation’s most popular parks consistently set attendance records through 2021.”