In an op-ed with Fox News, National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth urges members of Congress to pass the Great American Outdoors Act, an enduring investment in our national parks and public lands on behalf of all Americans. Read an excerpt of the piece, "Great American Outdoors Act - House Vote Can Repair, Preserve These National Treasures," below.
"More than 300 million people visit America's national parks each year, and it's easy to see why. From Acadia to Zion, these landscapes are among the most beautiful natural environments on the planet. Parks also embody the rich history of our nation, rooted in places like Antietam National Battlefield, Pullman National Monument, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park and Stonewall National Monument.
However, in recent years, our national parks have faced increasing wear and tear. At last count, nearly $12 billion in maintenance projects had been delayed for at least a year at parks around the country. These include urgently needed upgrades and repairs to historic buildings, visitor centers, utility systems, roads and trails.
Texas' Big Bend National Park alone requires nearly $90 million worth of maintenance. At Grand Canyon National Park, deferred maintenance projects total $314 million. And the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., need $655 million in upkeep.
The Great American Outdoors Act would address these shortfalls head on."