The Trump administration and Congress have an extraordinary opportunity to provide needed and overdue resources to address the more than $11 billion infrastructure repair backlog.
Our national parks, from the Grand Canyon to Gettysburg, need billions of dollars in repairs. Congress and the president must work together to fix our parks and help the local…See more ›
The National Park System is second only to the Department of Defense in the amount of infrastructure it manages, and maintaining and repairing that infrastructure requires resources — staff and materials that the National Park Service needs from Congress.
Due to the long-term underinvestment in parks by Congress, the infrastructure repair backlog comprised of park roads, bridges, trails, historic structures, campgrounds and other facilities has grown to more than $11 billion. Over half of the projects on the infrastructure repair backlog list are park road projects, such as the Grand Loop Road in Yellowstone National Park.
National park infrastructure repairs and maintenance needs are funded through multiple funding sources including the operation and construction budgets determined annually by Congress through the appropriations process and guaranteed funding from the Highway Trust Fund through transportation bills. However, these funding streams have been insufficient.
Examples of national park infrastructure needs:
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio): Paved roads and bridges comprise about $2 million of the parks deferred maintenance such as the road and bridge at Brandywine Falls.
Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado): Over $6 million is needed to rehabilitate historic buildings in the Chapin Mesa National Historic Landmark District at Mesa Verde National Park.
Yosemite National Park (California): Yosemite National Park is home to some of our country’s most breathtaking cliffs, domes and waterfalls. However, the park suffers from $582 million in needed repairs. For example, more than $20 million is needed to rehabilitate trails including the Yosemite Bike Path, the Stubblefield Canyon Trail and the Clark Point Spur, a path that leads to the famous Vernal Falls.
Park fees, philanthropic donations, volunteer assistance and other sources help supplement federal funding, but ultimately the bulk of the funding needs must be met by Congress.
It’s time for Congress to provide major investments to our parks through improved annual funding and a new, more robust dedicated funding commitment to address the crumbling roads and bridges, deteriorating historic buildings, and unmaintained trails in our national parks. By investing in our national parks, Congress also invests in our local economies.
Congress and the administration have been working hard to provide a more substantial and dedicated investment in addressing the most pressing infrastructure repair needs in our nation’s treasures.
There is a legislative solution on the table that addresses some of these maintenance and repair needs, and this bill is extremely close to becoming law.
The Great American Outdoors Act would provide up to $9.5 billion to repair aging infrastructure on our public lands, which will put more Americans to work in the National Park System and help sustain local communities across the country dependent on park and recreation tourism.
More than 10,000 Wrote Their Senators
Park advocates across the country urged their senators to cosponsor S. 751, the National Park Service Legacy Act.
2,500 Urged Their Members of Congress to Cosponsor Legacy Act
Park advocates nationwide urged their lawmakers to cosponsor the bipartisan, bicameral National Park Service Legacy Act.
Nearly 9,000 Urged Congress to Support the National Park Service Legacy Act
National park advocates nationwide contacted Congress and asked it to support and pass the National Park Service Legacy Act that would provide dedicated funding to address the parks' $11.3 billion repair backlog.
More than 8,600 Told Congress to Support the Legacy Act
National park advocates wrote their members of Congress and urged them to support the National Park Service Legacy Act to address the parks' $11.6 billion repair backlog.
More than 13,000 Letters Sent Urging Congress to Fix Parks
Park advocates took action to address the more than $11 billion maintenance backlog by telling Congress to support and pass the Restore Our National Parks (and Public Lands) Act.
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