Press Release Mar 4, 2020

Senate to Move Years-Long Effort to Address National Park Repair Needs

The bill would provide funding to repair aging infrastructure in America’s more than 400 national park sites. 

Washington, DC – Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the Great American Outdoors Act, a bill that would provide dedicated funding to reduce the National Park Service’s deferred maintenance backlog – nearly $12 billion in needed repairs across the National Park System – and provide full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

The bill would provide funding to repair aging infrastructure in America’s more than 400 national park sites. This legislation dedicates up to $6.5 billion to public lands infrastructure repairs over five years. Additionally, the bill will provide $900 million per year to LWCF to protect land in our national parks and other protected lands from development and to support recreational facilities.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association:

“Our national parks are suffering, operating on a shoestring budget and dealing with billions of dollars in needed repairs. Grand Canyon’s aging water system, which supplies drinking water for millions of visitors is falling apart, while Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road, built for carriages, is crumbling. Critical repair projects have been put on the backburner for decades, and now our parks are reaching a breaking point. At the same time, our parks are being threatened by potential development projects that would undermine critical wildlife habitat and visitor access.

“For years, congressional park champions, NPCA, park advocates, conservation organizations, and businesses have fought to fix our parks and save America’s legacy, and today, we are closer than ever before. Thousands of supporters called and wrote Congress fighting for funding. Hundreds more flew to Washington, D.C. to advocate on Capitol Hill asking lawmakers to make the investment in our public lands that they so desperately need and deserve. Their voices were heard.

“It’s because of the support of our Congressional park champions, Senators Rob Portman, Mark R. Warner, Lamar Alexander and Angus King, that we have reached this point in this years-long effort to repair parks. We commend Senators Joe Manchin and Cory Gardner for introducing this bill that will support conservation efforts across the country and help ensure our parks can continue to provide safe and enjoyable conditions for millions of visitors, support local communities and protect the resources that help tell our nation’s stories.”

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About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its nearly 1.4 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.