Press Release Jul 19, 2023

Parks Group Condemns House’s Senseless Spending Bill that Slashes National Park Service Budget

“A vote in support of this spending bill is a vote against our national parks, public lands and communities." - Theresa Pierno, NPCA's President and CEO

Washington, DC – Today, the House Appropriations Committee passed its fiscal year 2024 spending bill for the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, including the National Park Service. The budget calls for a $433 million (12.5%) cut to the Park Service’s budget that had just received a critical increase last year. This would likely result in the loss of more than 1,000 park staff and dig our parks into an even bigger financial hole as they continue to experience record-setting visitation this summer.

The budget also includes deep cuts to Park Service maintenance and historic preservation funding, which are critical to protecting stories and places that tell our nation’s history. Additionally, the bill slashes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s clean air and water programs while undoing recent investments to help our communities and park landscapes better face climate change and natural disasters.

The bill includes policy riders that would roll back protections for Voyageurs National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, where mining and oil and gas development have been prohibited. Other policy riders would roll back funding for important policies that ensure communities have an equal say in national park and public lands decisions and prevent diversity and equity efforts at federal agencies. The bill would also prohibit funding for North Cascades Grizzly Bear Ecosystem Restoration, an effort with overwhelming public support, and weaken protections for the Yellowstone Grizzly population that would safeguard one of our country’s most iconic wild creatures.

With the clock ticking to enact funding legislation by September 30, the bill now awaits consideration on the House floor.

Below is a statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO, National Parks Conservation Association:

“A vote in support of this spending bill is a vote against our national parks, public lands and communities.

“Our national parks are in crisis and Congress’ current solution to pass a spending bill that would have damaging repercussions for years to come is outrageous and unrealistic. Our parks have been chronically underfunded and understaffed. Ranger-led programs have been reduced, maintenance needs have increased, and visitor experience has been compromised. Less funding will only make matters worse, hurting the more than 300 million visitors who come to our parks each year to enjoy the great outdoors and learn about the stories that have shaped their lives.

“Our national parks are more popular than ever before, but many lawmakers continue to starve their already strained budgets and resources. And it’s not just park staff and visitors that will be harmed by this budget. Communities across the country that rely on these places for their livelihoods will feel the effects of these cuts for years to come.

“This bill is a nonstarter for anyone who cares about our national parks. Congress can and must do better. Millions of people who love and cherish our national parks and public lands are counting on it.”


About the 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 1.6 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