A U.S. Senate bill to provide funding for National Park repairs is currently under committee review. A similar bill is moving forward in the House of Representatives. A bipartisan group of senators this summer introduced the Restore our Parks Act. It proposes to spend $6.5 billion over 5 years to make some of the most critical repairs in the parks. Lawmakers say National Parks are important not only to the nation’s identity but to its economy.
Popular American National Parks like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Zion are $11.6 billion behind in maintenance issues. These problems threaten visitor access and safety with repairs including deteriorating historic buildings; unsafe roads; eroding trails; outdated campgrounds; broken bathrooms; crumbling monuments; and degraded water, sewer, and electrical systems.
U.S. Travel Association Senior Vice President for Government Relations Tori Barnes issued the following statement on the reintroduction of the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act (H.R. 1225) and the Restore Our Parks Act (S. 500):
“Our parks are among our most cherished national treasures, but their future viability is threatened by crumbling infrastructure and inadequate facilities that simply diminish the visitor experience. Years of underinvestment have led to a maintenance backlog estimated at nearly $12 billion, and it is crucial that a dedicated source of funding is identified to address these needs.
“The U.S. Travel Association applauds Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6) and Rob Bishop (R-UT-1), and Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Angus King (I-ME) for their dedication to tackling these deferred maintenance issues and for recognizing the need to ensure the future of our national parks.”