Press Release Jun 30, 2016

New Study Valuing America’s National Parks at $92 Billion Underscores their Value, Illustrating the Need to Better Fund Them

But Pending Spending Bill would Harm Parks

WASHINGTON – Below is a statement by Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association, following the release of a first of its kind study calculating the total economic value of national parks to American families. The report comes as Congress is considering a spending bill for the National Park Service that boosts funding for parks but undermines their protection.

“As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, today’s report shows an impressive $92 billion return on investment in our national parks and park programs to American families—30 times our parks’ annual budget. The release of this academic study demonstrates our willingness to invest in parks, and the economic benefits our parks provide to our nation.

“The study estimates the value of parks even to people who never visit them, illustrating the need to ensure they are appropriately funded. For years, funding has been too small for the National Park Service, forcing parks to do more with less despite their enormous economic benefit and, more importantly, their invaluable role in protecting and telling America’s story.

“The spending bill expected to be considered in Congress soon better invests in the National Park Service, but undermines the protection of park resources by including policy amendments that would threaten park air, water, and wildlife. Americans deserve a spending bill that not only funds national parks, but also rejects proposals that threaten their underlying protections and resources.

“Given the proven return on our collective investment in the National Park Service, it’s time Congress fund our national treasures with a bill free from damaging provisions. This would confirm what this report demonstrates and every park visitor knows, that our parks are special places that need to be protected in their centennial year and beyond.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association

Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.