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What They Are Saying: Support Builds for the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Bill


WASHINGTON, D.C., September 12, 2018 -

Tomorrow, the Committee on Natural Resources will markup the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act (U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah), which currently has more than 150 bipartisan cosponsors.

H.R. 6510 provides mandatory funding to address the deferred maintenance backlog of the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Education.

“The National Park Service is suffering from nearly $12 billion in deferred maintenance needs including run-down trails; crumbling roads and bridges; deteriorating historic buildings, memorials and monuments; and outdated and unsafe water, sewer and electrical systems. This challenge is largely due to both aging infrastructure that in many cases has outlived its life-cycle and inadequate federal funding over decades. Dedicating funding to repair our parks supports both the preservation of our heritage and the tourism economy that relies on accessible and functional park facilities.” – Kristen Brengel, vice president of government affairs, National Parks Conservation Association.

“OIA applauds this bipartisan effort to solve the National Park Service backlog issue and appreciates the dedication of Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Grijalva to this effort. The backlog impacts the recreation economy and Americans’ ability to explore and enjoy their public lands. As we know, and support for bills like the National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund shows, the health and vitality of America’s public lands system is a bipartisan issue that unites us. We look forward to continued progress and appreciate the House bill sponsors’ focus on the critical infrastructure that supports the growing $887 billion outdoor recreation economy.” –  Amy Roberts, executive director, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable.

“Ducks Unlimited is the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation. Founded in 1937, by a small group of concerned sportsmen and conservationists, our mission is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. The National Wildlife Refuge System stands alone as the only federal land and water conservation system with a mission that prioritizes wildlife and habitat conservation alongside wildlife-dependent recreation for the benefit of the American people. Given our alignment of priorities with that of the National Wildlife Refuge System, we support an increase in funding that would be allocated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the National Wildlife Refuge System through this bill.” – Dale Hall, CEO, Ducks Unlimited.

“National parks are also a critical economic driver for communities adjacent to these sites. In 2017, over 331 million park visits translated to $18.2 billion in direct spending to hotels, restaurants, outfitters, and other amenities in these gateway communities, supporting over 306,000 jobs and generating $35.8 billion in total economic output.

Dedicated funding for our parks would be a much-needed investment into these critical economic engines and will go a long way to address the $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog.  Thank you again for your commitment to fixing our parks.”Marcia Argust, director, Restore America’s Parks, The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“We are grateful for this realistic approach to dealing with the backlog of maintenance and infrastructure in National Parks, Refuges and on public lands, as well as providing for the Indian Education Service. We are in full support of H.R. 6510 and have been urging our Representatives to co-sponsor this legislation.” – David Brown, America Outdoors Association.

“This important bill addresses one of the most critical issues facing our national parks: the park system’s deferred maintenance backlog. Roads, bridges, trails, visitor centers,

drinking water systems and more are decaying due to age and a lack of needed capital

investments over the decades. Our national parks and other public lands can provide a place of respite for our military transitioning back to civilian life from participating in outdoor recreation activities to contributing in volunteer opportunities.”Laura L’Esperance, senior vice president of external affairs, The Mission Continues.

“Creation doesn’t belong to any one person or group to exploit, plunder, or be used selfishly. It’s a trust, given by God, for the benefit of humanity and the glory of God.

However, we are failing to tend God’s creation and the wonder of our National Parks with the $12.5 Billion Deferred Maintenance Backlog. God’s majestic wonders are literally falling apart as restrooms, roads, trails, watermains, etc. are literally crumbling before us. It’s past time to come together as a Nation and as a Congress to care and tend these God given wonders. We urge you to support H.R.6510 - Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act and the Manager’s Amendment to move this Legislation out of Committee and support its passage in the House of Representatives.” Mitch Hescox, president and CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network.

“Trails are more than just an economic engine. Since our nation’s founding, the outdoors has been a distinctive part of our American heritage, and trails are integral to that. Whether it’s a family out for a hike on a nearby trail, a returning veteran walking off the war, or hunters and anglers accessing their sites, Americans continue to seek places for outdoor recreation, a connection to nature, and healthy exercise. By addressing long overdue improvements to trails and the surrounding infrastructure, Congress can ensure that outdoor recreation remains open and accessible.”Tyler Ray, director of policy and advocacy, American Hiking Society.

“Given that government oil and gas revenues are currently dumped right into the U.S. Treasury along with most other revenue, it makes sense to dedicate the money produced by the capital we call public lands to the many and varied projects needed for their maintenance. Bishop and Grijalva have done a good thing in coming together across party lines to solve a serious long-term problem, and we encourage members of the House to move forward and make it a reality.”Editorial Board, The Washington Examiner.

“At a time when the $50 billion RV industry is growing at record levels, RV overnight stays at National Park Service campgrounds have declined from 4.5 million in the 1980s to 2.5 million in 2017,” said RV Industry Association President, Frank Hugelmeyer. “Inadequate campgrounds limit access to outdoor recreation opportunities and negatively impact the RV camping experience. Outdoor recreation is the number one driver of economic activity on federal lands and this bipartisan legislation offers a practical solution to restoring these iconic public places to the standards the American people deserve.”Frank Hugelmeyer, President, RV Industry Association

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Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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