As federal facilities, the transportation facilities within national parks are paid for through federal gas tax dollars in the Highway Trust Fund. A lack of sufficient funding has impeded ongoing and future transportation projects across the country and in our national parks--but that's starting to change.
New Transportation Law is Good for Parks
In early December 2015, Congress passed Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. National park roadways are slated to receive an 18 percent increase in funding, which will help fund the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges, and transportation systems within America’s national parks. This is a great victory for our parks!
The FAST Act authorizes federal highway programs for five years and during the life of this law ramps up the annual funding guarantee to the National Park Service from $268 million to $300 million through the Federal Lands Transportation Program. Overall, the National Park Service will receive an additional $220 million over the span of the five-year bill. Under the previous law, the National Park Service received an annual funding guarantee of $240 million.
Additionally, the new legislation authorizes up to $100 million annually for the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program designed to address exceptionally large repair projects such as replacement of the Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone National Park. NPCA will continue to work to ensure park projects get the funding they need through this program in the years to come.
The previous federal transportation law, MAP-21, was due to expire on Sept. 30, 2014 but Congress passed multiple extensions. Park advocates played a significant role in making this increase in reality.
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