Press Release Mar 23, 2015

$11.49 Billion Park Service Maintenance Backlog Shows Result of Continued Underfunding

Congress Should Support Full Funding for Necessary Repairs and Maintenance

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service released new details today on the extent of the National Park System’s $11.49 billion maintenance backlog in fiscal year 2014, an increase of $190 million over the previous fiscal year. The new numbers include totals for the maintenance backlog – which includes everything from eroding trails to road maintenance and visitor center renovations – for each park and each state.

The national park operations budget has been cut by 7% ($173 million) and construction dollars cut by 62% ($227 million), in today’s dollars, from five years ago. This decline in funding comes as park visitation continues to grow in advance of the National Park System’s 100th anniversary next year.

Below is a statement by Craig Obey, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, National Parks Conservation Association:

“Today’s numbers show the result of Congress’s chronic underfunding of our national parks. Failing to provide for the system’s basic maintenance needs has eroded our most treasured natural landscapes and historical sites. Unless Congress takes immediate and substantive action, the products of America’s best idea will only continue to fall apart.

“Next year’s centennial of the National Park System is the perfect opportunity for Congress to renew its commitment to protecting America’s most special places. Congress should support the president’s Park Service budget proposal, which reverses years of budget cuts while calling for significant investments in park maintenance. With half of this backlog made up of road and other transportation maintenance that are not covered by the Park Service budget, it is time for Congress and the Administration to allocate more transportation funding for projects in national parks. Taking these steps and more will ensure our parks the resources and support they need to thrive for another 100 years.”

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About 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 more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.