NPCA submitted the following positions to members of the House Natural Resources Committee ahead of a markup scheduled for June 26, 2019.
H.R. 823 – Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act: NPCA supports this legislation to protect 400,000 acres of public lands in Colorado, including providing a long-overdue boundary designation for the Curecanti National Recreation Area (NRA), one of Colorado’s thirteen national park units. Although the NRA was created in 1965, it was never afforded enabling legislation by Congress, and therefore its boundary was never designated. This administrative deficiency seems minor, but it has limited the National Park Service’s ability to efficiently manage the area. H.R. 823 fixes this by providing an appropriate boundary through transfer and exchange of land with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The proposed boundary adjustment is the result of a years-long extensive public planning process and will allow the National Park Service to work with landowners to enhance the long-term conservation of natural, recreational and scenic resources within the park unit. H.R. 823 is also a response to the interests of nearly one million visitors who travel to the area to fish, hike and recreate, and to the local gateway economies that depend upon this visitation and enhancement of its recreational opportunities.
H.R. 1225 – Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act: NPCA supports this legislation to address the National Park Service’s $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog of crumbling trails, roads, historic buildings, water systems and more. This backlog is largely due to aging infrastructure that has not received the requisite federal funding over the last several decades. H.R. 1225 dedicates up to $1.3 billion annually for five years to public lands infrastructure repairs for a total of $6.5 billion, 80 percent of which is for National Park Service sites. Funds are derived from 50 percent of miscellaneous receipts from current onshore and offshore energy royalties that are not dedicated to other purposes including for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Historic Preservation Fund.
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Western Conservation Program Manger