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National Park Restoration Bill Passes Committee, Garners 290 Bipartisan Cosponsors


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26, 2019 -

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 1225, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, legislation sponsored by Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Representative Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and garnering more than 290 bipartisan cosponsors. The bill passed Committee by a vote of 36-2.   

 

“The overwhelming support for this bill puts it in a league of its own. There have been thousands of bills introduced this Congress and fewer than ten have garnered the support enjoyed by the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act. Our park system is riddled with hazards that threaten the safety of Americans and park visitors. This bill addresses those issues at no added expense to the taxpayer.”

 

“I thank chairman Grijalva for his support, and I look forward to standing with over 290 other cosponsors to vote in favor of passing this legislation on the House floor.” - Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (R-Utah)  

 

“Our national parks are our nation’s crown jewels – an extraordinary legacy to be taken care of and shared with future generations.  With that in mind, I’m excited to see the House Committee on Natural Resources advance the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act with overwhelming bipartisan support.  This bill will help address the much-needed repairs at Olympic National Park and throughout the park system, ensuring our parks can continue to provide amazing visitor experiences and serve as economic drivers for rural communities throughout America.” - Representative Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.)

 

“I am proud to have some of the Country’s most precious and beautiful landscapes in my district, but with those landscapes comes a $97.76 million deferred maintenance backlog, almost 45% of the State’s over $219 million total public lands backlog. This legislation is a step in the right direction to address our growing management needs. We must preserve these lands to ensure our grandchildren and their grandchildren are able to do the same.” - Representative John Curtis (R-Utah)

 

In Colorado, and across the country, our national parks are suffering under an extreme deferred maintenance backlog. In Rocky Mountain National Park alone, $84 million is needed to complete deferred maintenance services that have been put off due to budget constraints. The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act is critical to ensuring that our national parks are maintained the way they need to be and that Americans can continue to enjoy these beautiful landscapes, which is why I’m grateful to Representative Kilmer for his leadership on this important issue.” - Representative Joe Neguse (D-Colo.)

“I applaud the House Natural Resources Committee for passing a bipartisan solution to fixing our Parks. I have been working on this issue for several years now and I applaud Chairman Grijalva, Ranking Member Bishop, and Representative Kilmer for helping to move a bill out of committee. I hope we will have a chance  to vote in this legislation on the House floor. With Yellowstone in our backyard, and the busy summer season upon us, we in Idaho know that our National Parks deserve our attention.” - Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho)

“Acadia National Park in my home state of Maine is one of our nation’s most treasured gems. Close to four million people visit each year, but the park’s popularity has created a $60 million maintenance backlog at Acadia alone. Our National Parks system was founded on a promise of conservation, and the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act is our way of upholding that promise. I’m glad my colleagues on the Natural Resources Committee have held this hearing on the backlog of repairs for parks across the country. Together, we can ensure our public lands are accessible far into the future.” - Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)

 

“We must ensure that our national parks and historic sites, including the eight I represent, continue to provide immeasurable cultural, environmental and economic benefits across local communities for generations to come. I am proud of the hard work my colleagues and I have put into this bipartisan bill that does exactly that,” said Hurd, co-chair of the bipartisan National Parks Caucus. “In 2018 alone national parks in Texas had a backlog of over $154 million in deferred maintenance, and over 75 percent of projects are in the 23rd District of Texas. I thank my friends on the Natural Resources Committee for recognizing the importance of reducing NPS’s deferred maintenance backlog and I look forward to seeing this bill soon on the House floor.” - Representative Will Hurd (R-Texas)

 

“The deferred maintenance backlog at our national parks means visitors are faced with deteriorating facilities and unsafe trails, campsites, and docks. H.R. 1225 will bring in funds from federal energy development projects to address the backlog and ensure all Americans can experience our amazing parks in a safe and enjoyable manner. I’m also pleased that some revenues will go toward the construction of Indian schools – many of which are in extremely poor condition. Whether in the classroom or out in nature, our buildings, structures, and facilities must be safe and suitable for all Americans who use them.” - Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minn.)

 

Background:

 

The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act addresses the deferred maintenance backlog by utilizing federal energy development revenue not otherwise allocated for other purposes. It also protects payments to states, GOMESA, LWCF, Reclamation Fund, and all other existing uses of onshore and offshore revenues.

  

Link to H.R. 1225 Bill Text HERE.


Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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