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WTAS: Passage of Bipartisan ‘Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act’

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.



What They are Saying about H.R. 1225 Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act


“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


“The nearly $12 billion National Park System deferred maintenance backlog jeopardizes some of our nation’s most iconic historic resources and cultural artifacts. The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act and its companion bill in the Senate have the support of over 325 members of Congress, and today’s successful markup in the House Natural Resources Committee provides a bipartisan path forward for legislation that would secure the future of important historic and cultural resources now at risk.” – Paul Edmondson, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation


“In Genesis we are commanded to be caretakers of God’s creation. However, our stewardship of the most majestic parts of God’s creation, our national parks, is dismal. Currently, these national treasurers need almost $12 billion in deferred maintenance. From roads and trails to restrooms and water mains, these great displays of God’s artistry are falling apart. We applaud the leaders in Congress who are dedicated to protecting these special places and are proud to support them as they advocate for the funding to restore the grandeur to these God given wonders. A special thank you to Representatives Bishop (R-UT) and Kilmer (D-WA) who are championing the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act (H.R. 1225) in the House of Representatives.”

– The Rev. Mitchell Hescox, president/C.E.O. of The Evangelical Environmental Network


“Federal public lands are economic engines for many gateway counties across the country. With the deferred maintenance backlog on these lands approaching $20 billion, the visitor experience is diminished, leading to declines in tourism and the revenue that comes with it. We thank Ranking Member Bishop for sponsoring the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, and we appreciate Chairman Grijalva and the members of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee for supporting this legislation. Counties call on Congress to pass this bill as soon as possible.” Matthew Chase, executive director of the National Association of Counties


"The national parks are part of our nation's identity. They are natural treasures that bring people together and encourage healthy lifestyles. Landscape architects helped build our national park system and are deeply committed to preserving park infrastructure with an eye toward resilience and sustainability. The American Society of Landscape Architects thanks Rep. Bishop (Utah) for leading the way on H.R. 1225, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, and fully supports passage to send critical funding to restore our national parks."  – Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects


"The national parks are not only of great cultural and historical importance, but they also provide significant economic contributions to the regions in which they are located. In 2018, more than 318 million parks visitors spent $20.2 billion, fueling the economies of gateway communities across the country. We applaud Ranking Member Bishop and Rep. Kilmer for their leadership on the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, which is a crucial step toward establishing a dedicated source of funding to address the parks’ $12 billion maintenance backlog and ensure their viability for generations to come.”– Tori Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and policy for the U.S. Travel Association


“Less than a mile from the steps of Congress you can see the impact of deferred maintenance on our National Parks.  America’s front yard, the National Mall, has areas that are suffering from aging infrastructure, specifically the 120 year old seawall of the tidal basin which experiences daily flooding which negatively impacts our iconic cherry trees. Additionally, growing public visitation and accessibility challenges threaten the sustainability and visitor enjoyment of this national treasure.” – Catherine Townsend, president and CEO for Trust for the National Mall


"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


"National parks protect some of America’s most iconic landscapes and most important history and culture. Unfortunately, our parks’ infrastructure has been neglected for far too long. But thanks to the leadership of Representatives Rob Bishop and Derek Kilmer, and the support of park champions across the aisle, we are one step closer to ensuring America’s national parks and all they stand for are protected now, and well into the future. The momentum from this bipartisan compromise bill is promising and demonstrates the value and power our national parks have for bringing people together. NPCA will continue to work with Congress to get this bill over the finish line and deliver a long-term solution for our parks’ maintenance needs.”– Theresa Pierno, president and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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