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Press Release

As NPS Maintenance Backlog Balloons, Members Hold Biden Administration Accountable

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 10, 2024 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
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Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a joint hearing on the National Park Service's (NPS) deferred maintenance backlog. 

"The National Park Service is facing a significant and growing maintenance backlog that threatens the very infrastructure and natural resources of our nation's most treasured parks. Critical repairs to roads, buildings, trails, and campgrounds are being ignored or mismanaged by Biden administration officials. Over the past three years, this backlog has been steadily increasing and poses a significant challenge to the overall mission of the National Park Service. This backlog not only impacts the visitor experience but also poses serious threats to the safety and preservation of America’s national parks." Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)

"Despite receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer money, the National Park Service’s deferred maintenance backlog continues to increase dramatically. The Subcommittee on Federal Lands, along with the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, is committed to providing the overdue oversight needed to right the ship and start making the necessary improvements all Americans want to see at our national parks." Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.)


The NPS's growing $22.3 billion deferred maintenance backlog restricts the agency’s ability to carry out its mission to conserve our national parks, diminishes visitor experiences for the millions of Americans who enjoy those parks and wastes billions of taxpayer dollars. Deferred maintenance is unlike routine maintenance activities as these are repairs or maintenance that were not performed when they should have been or were delayed.

Mismanagement of America’s National Park System harms the economies of rural and gateway communities, restricts access and recreational opportunities and prohibits desperately needed management of our overgrown, diseased and dying public lands.

Two independent reviews conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Inspector General found serious deficiencies with the way the NPS tracks and monitors its deferred maintenance backlog, leading to inaccurate and unreliable estimations.

Despite historic levels of investment by Congress, the NPS has failed to reduce its deferred maintenance backlog and develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent the deferred maintenance backlog from increasing. After an infusion of $6.5 billion to address the problem, the $12.7 billion backlog at the end of fiscal year 2019 has now ballooned to $22.3 billion. Without proper oversight to ensure the agency appropriately tracks and estimates its backlog, the NPS will continue failing to meaningfully reduce its deferred maintenance. 

Today's hearing was an opportunity for committee members from both the Federal Lands and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees to ask representatives from the GAO and DOI questions about these costs and address their concerns. For more information, click here.