Statement by John Garder, Senior Director for Budget and Appropriations for the National Parks Conservation Association:
“Our national parks continue to face significant funding challenges for everyday operations and maintenance needs that help keep our most treasured places up and running safely for all to enjoy. This bi-partisan bill, through the leadership of Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Tom Udall (D-NM) and support of the committee, provides additional resources for rangers whose numbers have been on the decline for years, and helps fix crumbling park roads and aging facilities. The bill also shows strong oversight of the administration’s damaging effort to reorganize the Department of the Interior, in part by defunding it.”Key provisions that benefit our parks include:
• Provides a $62 million, 2% increase for the operation of national parks, supporting park stewardship, overdue park repairs, visitor programs and park rangers.
• Restricts new funding for the reorganization of the Department of the Interior, which threatens the management of our parks, their resources, the employees of the National Park Service, and its partner land management agencies.
• Increases funding for Park Service federal land acquisition, better protecting Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Cumberland Island National Seashore and many other parks.
• Provides needed support for National Heritage Areas, supporting historic preservation and interpretation at communities throughout the country.
• Provides increases to address the Park Service’s nearly $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog, helping to fix our park roadways and aging infrastructure.
• Urges protections for Chaco Culture National Historical Park from new oil and gas development on adjacent federal public lands.
Ramble On: A History of Hiking