Preserving America’s heritage should be a bipartisan issue. Congress should reject the president's proposed budget and instead allocate needed resources for our parks.

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, a proposed budget by the Trump administration would seriously undercut these priceless national treasures by slashing the National Park Service budget by a significant 13 percent — a move that, if enacted, would represent the biggest cut to the agency’s budget since World War II.

The Park Service is already grappling with underfunding, staff shortages and an $11 billion repair backlog, despite a 19 percent increase in visitors over the last five years. This budget is 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.

Highlights include:

  • Cutting base operating funding by $132 million, affecting at least 90 percent of parks. This includes cuts to law enforcement, health and safety, natural and cultural resource projects, and volunteer and youth programs.
  • Cutting 1,242 staff positions.
  • A 37 percent cut to the Historic Preservation Fund.
  • A drastic cut to federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which helps parks purchase private lands within park boundaries from willing sellers that would otherwise be vulnerable to inappropriate commercial or residential development.
  • Elimination of the National Heritage Area program, which preserves large historic landscapes managed through innovative partnerships.

NPCA vigorously opposes this budget proposal and urges Congress to instead 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.

Background

Due to years of congressional underfunding, the National Park Service lacks the resources it needs to fully staff its parks and programs, address more than $11 billion in repair needs, provide routine maintenance, and protect the country’s world-class resources.

Budget cuts and poor 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 19 percent increase in visitation over the last five years, yet the park system has seen an 11 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 that 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.

Effort-to-date

  • More than 11,000 Urge Congress to Avoid Government Shutdown

    Oct 2015

    National park advocates contacted Congress and urged them to keep national parks open by avoiding a government shutdown.

  • 17,000 Take Action to Restore Park Funding

    Dec 2015

    Thousands of national park supporters asked Congress to restore park funding for 2016.

  • Nearly 12,000 Contact Congress in Support of President's Budget for Parks

    Jul 2016

    NPCA supporters stood up for national parks by asking Congress to support the president's proposed budget for parks.

  • More Than 12,000 Speak Up for Better Funding

    Jul 2016

    Thousands of park supporters contacted their representative and asked them to pass legislation that would better fund national parks without including policy provisions that would damage them.

  • More than 12,000 Contact Congress to Pass the NPS Centennial Act

    Nov 2016

    Thousands of national park supporters let Congress know the time is now to provide our national parks with the financial boost they need as they enter their next century.

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