The National Parks Second Century Action Coalition is a national coalition dedicated to promoting the protection, restoration, and operation of the National Park System to benefit the health and well-being of current and future generations. The coalition will take actions that help the National Park Service achieve conservation goals, foster visitor enjoyment, engage youth, promote tourism, preserve cultural heritage, support educational and recreation opportunities, and foster diversity through federal, fee, and philanthropic funding and other measures.
Major Initiatives and Resources
In 2016, the National Park System will celebrate its 100th anniversary, an ideal opportunity to restore and renew America’s treasures for their next 100 years. The coalition is actively working with the Administration and Congress to establish a long-term public-private matching program to fund centennial initiatives and address maintenance needs in the national parks.
Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act
The Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) authorizes several agencies, including the National Park Service, to collect and expend recreation fees on lands they manage. These fees fund projects that directly benefit the visitor experience by repairing and improving facilities at national parks, offering education materials and services, and providing law enforcement. However, the authority for FLREA is scheduled to sunset in December 2015, which will result in agencies no longer having explicit recreation fee authority. The parks would lose $180 million a year. The coalition is actively working with Congress to reauthorize this law before it sunsets.
- Factsheet: Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (PDF)
- Press Release: National Conservation Coalition Commends Legislation that Would Prevent $180 Million Loss to National Parks
- Coalition Letters:
The National Park System’s transportation systems (roads, bridges, tunnels, ferries, transit, etc.) have been in a steady state of decline over the past couple of decades due to chronic underfunding. The current backlog of park transportation projects totals more than $6 billion. Transportation facilities located or operating in national parks are federal facilities. The federal transportation law (MAP-21) that authorizes the federal gas tax and provides funding for park transportation systems expires next summer. The coalition is advocating to Congress the need to reauthorize MAP-21 with a substantial increase in the allocation for NPS transportation projects.
- Factsheet: National Park Service Transportation Infrastructure (PDF)
- Coalition Letters:
Park Funding through Appropriations
Park funding has faced continued cuts over the past few years. With the approaching Centennial of the National Park System, now is the time for Congress to restore national park funding in the near- and long-term to help them recover from neglect, better serve American and international visitors and local economies, and leave a lasting legacy for the next hundred years and beyond. The coalition continues to advocate for an increased federal investment in our national parks.
- Coalition Letters:
Members of the Coalition speak to the significance of the National Park Service’s upcoming historic 2016 Centennial and the importance of a federal investment:
“America’s national parks are home to some of the most beautiful, iconic, and natural playgrounds in the world, helping generate $646 billion in consumer spending and supporting more than six million jobs annually. With the national parks’ 100th anniversary in 2016, a federal investment in their future will provide greater access and recreational opportunities -- whether you climb, hike, paddle, love history, or simply enjoy the amazing views.”
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association and voice of the outdoor recreation industry, serving more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the active outdoor lifestyle. With offices Boulder, Colo., and Washington, D.C., OIA is the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer and the trade voice representing a $646 billion industry. OIA supports the growth and success of the outdoor industry through its focus on government affairs, sustainability, outdoor consumer insights, industry trends and youth participation.
“America's national parks are a living, perpetual testament to the private citizens who helped create them through philanthropy, advocacy and volunteerism. For over 90 years, not-for-profit organizations have grown up at the local level to support these treasured places, recognizing that the government has always needed help to provide a margin of excellence to their preservation and visitor experience. With a strong federal commitment to funding the National Park Service, the Association of Partners for Public Lands and nonprofit park partners across the nation are ready, willing and able to leverage and extend every federal dollar through their donors, retail customers, volunteers, educational resources, gateway communities and business partners. Together, nonprofit park partners will continue to help the NPS achieve its mission to protect America’s national parks for the enjoyment of present and future generations.”
The Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL) is a not-for-profit organization working to enhance the potential of its members, who are dedicated to public understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of America’s natural and cultural heritage. Through education, information, and representation, APPL promotes the vitality of its members and their programs of service and support to the agencies who oversee this nation’s public lands.
“From Ellis Island and Chaco Cultural National Historical Park to the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument and so many other places, national parks tell the stories of all Americans. Investments in national parks are essential to protect our historic and cultural resources, especially as we approach the Centennial anniversary of our National Parks.”
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. We are the cause that inspires Americans to save the places where history happened. The cause that connects us to our diverse pasts, weaving a multi-cultural nation together. The cause that transforms communities from places where we live into places that we love. As the leading voice for preservation, we are the cause for people saving places.
“As we approach the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, we hope that there will be a renewed commitment by our government and the American people to ensure that our national parks are protected for future generations. By definition, our parks are nationally significant and contain a wide array of important natural and cultural resources. Parks are important places to learn history, engage in outdoor activities, and protect resources. They are economic engines and job creators. They are the face and story of America. We must change course and restore our parks. We ask that the President and Congress provide the financial support necessary to ensure that our parks are unimpaired for future generations.”
The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR) includes more than 900 former NPS employees representing all levels and job disciplines of the agency, including many of its most senior managers. On average, Coalition members have worked for 30 years for the NPS. We understand the inner workings of park and agency management, and the ramifications law and policy have on park protection, operations, visitors, and communities. CNPSR is a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization and we depend on our members and supporters to enable our work through their donations. CNPSR focuses on threats, issues, and events with potential for National Park System-wide effects and precedence. Politically non-partisan, we advocate forcefully for parks and park programs, park visitors, and NPS employees.
“Acadia National Park is a natural treasure enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, and is an economic powerhouse with reach that extends throughout our state and region. Acadia also shares the 1916 founding date with the National Park Service, so excitement is already building here about the opportunity to celebrate a dual centennial here in 2016 that will mark the importance of Acadia’s conservation legacy and the promise of its second century. This is an absolutely critical time for public investment in our national parks in order to help inspire matching philanthropic support and show the powerful role that parks can play in communities and lives across America.”
Since its founding by a small group of dedicated volunteers in 1986, Friends of Acadia has grown to a 3,700-member organization dedicated to preserving and protecting Acadia National Park and surrounding communities through a combination of advocacy, philanthropy, volunteerism, and innovation in order to add a margin of excellence in supporting the essential work of our partners at the National Park Service.
"Appropriate higher levels of funding to address the infrastructure backlog at our national parks and other public lands is the best way to have a meaningful celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. The American public and our international guests want to see these gems in excellent condition with all facilities in good repair."
The National Tour Association is the leading tourism organization bringing the world to North America and North America to the world.
“The Public Land Service Coalition (PLSC) strongly supports investing in National Parks and, specifically, engaging the next generation of young people through partnerships with conservation corps to complete projects maintaining and supporting national parks.”
The Public Lands Service Coalition, a coalition of 38 national and regional organizations, promotes youth service jobs and career development on public/tribal lands and waters. The PLSC was one of the leading voices supporting the development and launch of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps.
“Visitation and tourism related to nearby public lands annually contribute billions to local economies while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. The greatest value isn’t just about tourism, but rather the overall economic impact. A sound infrastructure and ongoing funding are critical in fueling growth within these destinations. Destination Marketing Association International proudly supports the investment in national parks as proposed in the president's budget.”
Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) protects and advances the success of destination marketing worldwide. DMAI's influential membership includes nearly 600 official destination marketing organizations (DMOs), also known as tourism boards or Convention and Visitor Bureaus, from nearly 20 countries that command $2.5 billion in annual budgets. As the world's largest and most reliable resource for DMOs, it provides more than 3,700 individual members - professionals, industry partners, educators and students - the most innovative and relevant educational resources, networking opportunities and marketing intelligence worldwide.
“National parks are at the heart of who we are as Americans—they preserve our country’s iconic wilderness areas and irreplaceable historic sites of national significance that tell us stories about where we’ve labored and lived, fought and died, imagined and explored. More Americans learn about history—and come to care about their history—from the national parks than from high school and college classrooms, and by encountering the American past, in turn, they gain appreciation for the difficult, ongoing work of citizenship. On the occasion of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, let’s give it a birthday present and fund park infrastructure, deferred maintenance, and its professional staff at a level fit for the national treasures it holds on our behalf.”
The National Council on Public History is a nonprofit association that inspires public engagement with the past and serves the needs of practitioners in putting history to work in the world. NCPH builds community among historians, expands professional skills and tools, fosters critical reflection on historical practice, and publicly advocates for history and historians. Members of the organization include historical consultants, museum professionals, government historians, professors & students, archivists, teachers, cultural resource managers, curators, film & media producers, historical interpreters, policy advisors, and many others.
“Every year millions of Americans enjoy hiking in America’s national parks – viewing the awe-inspiring scenery, breathing the fresh air, getting some good exercise, and – maybe most importantly – making memories they will always treasure. But parks and hiking trails don’t just happen on their own. Working together, let’s ensure that our national parks are funded and provided the resources that will keep them open and available so that in the future they’ll be more than just memories.”
As the national voice for America’s hikers, American Hiking Society promotes and protects hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience.
“National parks are a major catalyst for travel and tourism domestically and internationally -- nine out of ten Americans have visited a national park while one in five international visitors travels to a park service unit during their stay in the United States. Park visitors generated $27 billion in economic activity in 2012 and supported nearly 250,000 jobs – even though the Park Service budget represents just one-fifteenth of 1% of the overall federal budget. Every dollar invested in the National Park Service generates $10 in economic activity, and makes communities across the nation viable and proud. The National Parks Hospitality Association is proud to be a partner to the National Park Service, helping create treasured memories of experiences for some 100 million visitors annually.”
The National Park Hospitality Association (NPHA) is the national trade association of the businesses that provide lodging, food services, gifts and souvenirs, equipment rentals, transportation and other visitor services in the National Park System. Concessioners have served park visitors since the 1870’s. NPHA members have a combined workforce of nearly 25,000 persons – mostly front-line, visitor-contact jobs – and provide in excess of $1.1 billion in goods and services to visitors annually. NPHA members operate in more than 100 park units and generate more than $100 million annually for the National Park Service budget.