Preserving America’s heritage should be a bipartisan issue.
Polling consistently has shown that Americans — Republicans, Democrats and Independents — want and expect national parks to be adequately funded. These world-class public lands provide tremendous economic benefits to communities across the country in addition to the immeasurable natural and historic value of the iconic places they preserve.
Unfortunately, the Trump administration would have seriously undercut these priceless national treasures in its 2017 proposed budget by slashing National Park Service funding by 13 percent — a move that did not pass Congress, but if enacted, would have represented the biggest cut to the agency’s budget since World War II.
The Park Service is already grappling with underfunding, staff shortages and a nearly $12 billion repair backlog, despite a 14% increase in visitors over the last five years. To further reduce funding would be a big step in the wrong direction for our national parks. It would lead to fewer seasonal park rangers and other staff, reduced hours, closed facilities, and fewer visitor programs and services.
NPCA strongly urges Congress to provide the robust funding the Park Service needs to ensure that America’s most iconic and inspirational places continue to thrive, now and into the future.
Due to years of congressional underfunding, the National Park Service lacks the resources to adequately staff its parks and programs, address nearly $12 billion in repair needs, provide routine maintenance and protect the treasures of the park system.
Inadequate funding in recent years have led to crumbling facilities and too few rangers and other staff to serve visitors and protect cultural and natural resources. Parks have seen a 14% increase in visitation over the last five years, yet the park system has seen an 14% percent reduction in staff during the same time period. The National Park Service needs more resources, not less, to effectively manage its growing backlog and serve the needs of its unique and iconic resources, as well as the millions of visitors who travel the world to visit these natural and historic wonders.
As Congress deliberates these and other funding initiatives, NPCA will continue to provide national park advocates with opportunities to encourage support for the national parks.
Get Action Alerts
Want national parks in your inbox? Sign up for NPCA email updates to receive news, features, and opportunities to make a difference! You can unsubscribe at any time.