Press Release Sep 26, 2019

Senate Spending Committee Advances Interior Funding Bill; Better Protects National Parks and Supports Park Rangers

Senate bill increases funding for the National Park Service by $133 million

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United States Senate appropriations committee unanimously passed the Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations bill for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. If enacted, it would increase National Park Service funding by $133 million and improve funding for other federal agencies that support our parks’ wildlife, clean air and water. The increased funding commitment will better protect park resources, support jobs, address overdue park maintenance needs and enhance the experience for 330 million annual park visitors.

Statement by John Garder, Senior Director for Budget and Appropriations for the National Parks Conservation Association:

“Our national parks continue to face significant funding challenges for everyday operations and maintenance needs that help keep our most treasured places up and running safely for all to enjoy. This bi-partisan bill, through the leadership of Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Tom Udall (D-NM) and support of the committee, provides additional resources for rangers whose numbers have been on the decline for years, and helps fix crumbling park roads and aging facilities. The bill also shows strong oversight of the administration’s damaging effort to reorganize the Department of the Interior, in part by defunding it.”

Key provisions that benefit our parks include:

  • Provides a $62 million, 2% increase for the operation of national parks, supporting park stewardship, overdue park repairs, visitor programs and park rangers.

  • Restricts new funding for the reorganization of the Department of the Interior, which threatens the management of our parks, their resources, the employees of the National Park Service, and its partner land management agencies.

  • Increases funding for Park Service federal land acquisition, better protecting Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Cumberland Island National Seashore and many other parks.

  • Provides needed support for National Heritage Areas, supporting historic preservation and interpretation at communities throughout the country.

  • Provides increases to address the Park Service’s nearly $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog, helping to fix our park roadways and aging infrastructure.

  • Urges protections for Chaco Culture National Historical Park from new oil and gas development on adjacent federal public lands.

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About National Parks Conservation Association: For 100 years, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org/100.