WASHINGTON — Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, issued the following statement regarding the House and Senate reintroduction of bipartisan bills to tackle the National Park Service’s $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog:
“The bipartisan Restore Our Parks effort provides a substantial investment in our parks and a significant step forward in addressing the dramatic challenges that their aging infrastructure presents.
These pieces of legislation would dedicate funding to start tackling the National Park Service’s $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog as well as the backlogs of other public land agencies. Garnering 233 bipartisan sponsors in the House and 36 in the Senate last year, this consensus proposal would raise $6.5 billion over five years.
The National Park Foundation applauds Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator Angus King, Senator Rob Portman, Senator Mark Warner, Ranking Member Rob Bishop, and Representative Derek Kilmer for championing the current effort and commends Chairman Raúl Grijalva for his great leadership in the last Congress and his continued commitment to the issue.
National parks represent all that is great about America: extraordinary natural grandeur, expansive history, diverse culture, and deep heritage. They are shared spaces where all people can feel inspired, learn, reflect, relax, adventure, and feel proud. The Restore Our Parks effort represents a significant investment in those things we collectively love and cherish.
We look forward to working with Congress and our partners to ensure America’s national parks and public lands have what they need to thrive today and into the future.”
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and ENGAGE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.