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The Problem

The Department of the Interior’s total deferred maintenance backlog currently stands at $16 billion, including an $11.6 billion backlog within our National Park System.

Federal land management agencies are facing a deferred maintenance backlog that is wreaking havoc on agency budgets and jeopardizing the safety and quality of visitors’ enjoyment of our national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands. The growing maintenance backlog on public lands could cause detrimental economic impacts. Our public lands generate $18.2 billion of economic activity for gateway communities and support 306,000 jobs.

If we don’t do something to fix the backlog now, it will only grow and compound, making it more expensive for taxpayers in the future.

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The Solution

H.R. 1225, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act would establish the National Park Service and Public Lands Restoration Fund.

This Fund would provide funding for the high-priority deferred maintenance needs that support critical infrastructure and visitor services at our national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.

The Fund draws from all sources of federal energy revenue, to reduce the maintenance backlog. The Fund will receive 50% of energy receipts not currently allocated to existing account funds such as GOMESA, LWCF, the Reclamation Fund and all other obligations of onshore and offshore revenues. Deposits to the Fund are authorized for five years (revenue from FY2020 to FY2024) and are capped at $1.3 billion annually. The Fund may receive donations from the private sector.

Amounts in the fund cannot be used for land acquisition and projects must be submitted annually to Congress for review. 

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Current Status

H.R. 1225, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act has over 300 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. In the 116th Congress, there are only ten bills that have garnered the same level of broad, bipartisan support as this legislationsix of which have already passed the House. 

On June 26, 2019, the legislation passed at a Full Committee Markup by a vote of 36-2.

Once reported, the legislation can be brought up for consideration on the House floor.

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Outside Support

“H.R. 1225 is a smart investment in our public lands, ensuring visitor access and safety, and preserving our treasured park resources. It’s time to get this legislation over the finish line.”
 
– Marcia Argust, director of Restore America’s Parks for The Pew Charitable Trusts

“Our parks and public lands contribute to a thriving outdoor recreation economy that represents 2.2% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and $734 billion in economic output. This is why national outdoor recreation trade associations fully support the Restore our Parks and Public Lands Act and hope to see this solution to the backlog of recreation projects on our public lands passed this year. We want more Americans and international visitors enjoying all our public lands and waters have to offer and appreciate the sponsors’ dedication to this growing problem that will impede on the economic contributions, and quality of life, that our parks can provide.” 
– Jessica Wahl, executive director of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable


"As the National Park Foundation strives to enhance the visitor experience at our national parks, we celebrate the House Committee on Natural Resources’ vote to advance the bipartisan Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, which would provide substantial investment in these treasured places. We applaud Ranking Member Rob Bishop and Representative Derek Kilmer for championing this important effort, and commend Chairman Raúl Grijalva for his commitment to addressing our parks’ deferred maintenance needs and holding today’s markup. The Foundation looks forward to the legislation’s timely consideration by the full House of Representatives to ensure our national parks thrive today and into the future.”
 Will Shafroth, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation

 
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Markup 

To watch the Full Committee Markup held on June 26, 2019:

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