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Press Release

Bishop, Grijalva Introduce Bill to Establish a Fund Addressing National Park Maintenance Backlog

Today, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Committee Ranking Member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced the bipartisan, Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act, establishing the National Park Service and Public Lands Restoration Fund.

“Our parks are national treasures. Let’s start treating them that way. This bipartisan bill will put us on the path to improving our parks for future generations,” Bishop said.

“The idea of dedicating energy development funds to conservation goes back to the creation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund in 1964. I’m pleased to join Chairman Bishop to add overdue maintenance and repair work at national parks and public lands to the list of projects eligible for this dedicated funding. Chairman Bishop and I share a commitment to providing visitors, both now and in the future, a world-class parks system,” Grijalva said.

H.R._____ would address 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.

Stakeholder support for the legislation includes:

“National Parks are the backbone of the federal recreation system. For far too long these treasures have not received the care and attention worthy of America’s ‘Best Idea’. Rep. Bishop’s bipartisan legislation to address the multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog is the type of action and leadership needed for the Parks to thrive for the next 100 years and beyond.” Fred Ferguson, vice president of government relations of Vista Outdoor

“Our National Park System serves as a living testament to our commitment to conservation and recreation. It is also a key economic engine for neighboring gateway counties. Visitors to national parks contribute billions of dollars to the economy, and support over 300,000 jobs nationwide. The quality of the visitor experience on public lands directly impacts economic growth in gateway counties. We support this bipartisan effort by Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Grijalva to tackle the federal lands deferred maintenance backlog, ensure greater recreational access and improve economic opportunities for public lands counties.” – Matthew Chase, executive director of the National Association of Counties

“We applaud Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Grijalva’s bipartisan efforts to address the backlog of critical projects in our National Parks and public lands of the BLM and FWS through the Restore our Parks & Public Lands Act. The nation’s 130 Service & Conservation Corps and our 25,000 youth and veteran Corpsmembers work to address public lands maintenance needs in order to expand access to recreation opportunities, improve the visitor experience and fish and wildlife habitat, and preserve infrastructure. Americans expect and deserve their public lands, which their taxes support, to be in a good condition when they visit. We look forward to working with the sponsors, Secretary Zinke, and other supporters of our public lands, to spread the word in Congress about this important bill and sign it in to law.” – Mary Ellen Sprenkel, president and CEO of The Corps Network

“The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act represents a collaborative, bipartisan, and bicameral effort to address the $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog of the National Park Service, along with other federal agencies, which threatens some of our nation’s most iconic historic resources and cultural artifacts. We commend Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and the original cosponsors for their leadership and commitment to reliable and dedicated funding that would enable the National Park Service to save important resources currently at risk from permanent damage or loss.” – Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

“Our country’s national parks hold some of America’s most precious natural and cultural resources from the rocky coastlines of Acadia to the Navajo sandstone cliffs of Zion. Unfortunately, due to years of funding shortfalls, our most treasured places are plagued by outdated water infrastructure, crumbling trails and decaying park facilities across the National Park System – nearly $12 billion in needed repairs. Millions of Americans visit our parks annually and expect great experiences when there. Today, with the introduction of the Restore our Parks and Public Lands Act, Congress is one step closer to ensuring that our parks can continue to provide safe conditions for visitors, while also protecting the resources that help tell our shared American story.” – Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association

“The effort to find a compromise to fix our parks is not only bipartisan; now it is also bicameral. Pew applauds Representatives Rob Bishop, Raul Grijalva and their colleagues for collaborating on this proposal, which combines the best of previous deferred-maintenance bills and provides significant and consistent funding to address the backlog.” – Marcia Argust, director of Pew Charitable Trusts’ Restore America’s Parks campaign

"For years, veterans with The Mission Continues have continued their mission of service in national parks across the country, rebuilding camping platforms, demolishing old structures, and building benches and comfort stations for visitors. It is through this impact in parks that veterans experience personal growth and connectedness, and our work will continue tirelessly. We are proud to support bipartisan legislation that leads to much-needed maintenance and infrastructure improvements in our national parks, knowing that this funding will make our work more impactful and our parks more sustainable." – Mary Beth Bruggeman, vice president of program strategy for The Mission Continues

“America’s national parks are major attractions for visitors from far and near. In 2017 alone, visitors to national parks spent $18 billion in gateway communities, which supported thousands of local jobs and fueled nearby businesses, like restaurants, hotels and retail shops. It is critical to preserve and protect our national parks to benefit generations to come, and the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act will help to do just that by providing a dedicated and reliable source of funding to maintain and repair our nation’s parks. We thank Congressman Bishop and Congressman Grijalva for introducing this bill and for their support of America’s travel and tourism industry.” – Tori Barnes, senior vice president of government relations for the U.S. Travel Association

"The Public Lands Alliance believes that America's parks, wildlife refuges, conservation areas, and public lands require a dedicated, reliable, and sizeable funding source to substantially address their existing maintenance backlog. PLA applauds the bipartisan Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act for doing just that, while emphasizing critical improvements to public lands access, safety, recreation, and enjoyment. Investments created through the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act can help inspire continued private support for historic preservation, trail restoration, and other infrastructure needs that enhance the visitor experience." – Dan Puskar, executive director of Public Lands Alliance

"New Mexico has firsthand experience with the seriousness of deferred and underfunded maintenance. Fact is, it took three years (from 2015 - 2018) to simply get an elevator fixed at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.  This left thousands of visitors without means to experience one of the natural jewels here in the Land of Enchantment. The Restore our Parks and Lands Act, with designated funds for such issues, is welcome news for our state and seeing party politics put aside for the good of our nation is even better. New Mexico Business Coalition applauds the bi-partisan leadership of Chairman Rob Bishop and Ranking Congressman Grijalva from the House Committee on Natural Resources in sponsoring this important legislation." – Carla Sonntag, president of the New Mexico Business Coalition