Our country’s national parks contain some of America’s greatest natural and cultural treasures, and it’s no surprise that they have become beloved vacation and recreation destinations for millions of Americans and international visitors. Parks are also major economic engines for the communities that neighbor them, generating billions of dollars in spending and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs around the country.
Sadly, a combination of aging infrastructure, visitation pressures, and a history of inconsistent congressional funding has led to an $11.6 billion backlog of necessary maintenance repairs. These include crumbling roads and bridges, rotting historic buildings, impassable hiking trails, and deteriorating electrical, water, and sewage systems. If left unaddressed, these repair needs can threaten visitor access and safety.
But thanks to forward-thinking members of Congress, the future of our parks looks a little brighter. Bipartisan bills were recently introduced in the House and Senate to help draw down the maintenance backlog.
The Restore Our Parks Act (S. 3172) and its similar companion, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act (H.R. 6510), would create a dedicated fund in the general treasury that would direct reliable federal funding each year to park maintenance needs. Please send a letter to your members of Congress asking them to cosponsor these bills and support dedicated funding for NPS deferred maintenance.