Warner-Portman Bill Addresses Critical Funding Needs in America’s National Parks
Statement from National Trust for Historic Preservation
U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced a bill today that would address deferred maintenance challenges at more than 400 sites in the National Park System. The Warner-Portman National Park Service Legacy Act establishes a National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund to reduce the maintenance backlog by allocating $500 million annually from existing revenues the government receives for oil and natural gas royalties. In response to the new legislation, Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation issued the following statement:
“We applaud Senators Warner and Portman for their leadership in introducing legislation that addresses the critical maintenance backlog of almost $12 billion facing our national parks. This investment in our nation’s infrastructure helps preserve significant historic and natural resources that help define our nation and fuel local economies.
“America’s national parks are more popular than ever, with more than 330 million visits in 2016 alone, an increase of nearly eight percent from 2015. But also on the increase are reports of dilapidated roads, historic buildings in need of repair, eroding trails and outdated public buildings that no longer meet the needs of many visitors.“Our parks have served our nation well for over 100 years. This legislation is a positive step towards ensuring that our national parks have the funding they need to continue to serve future generations of Americans.”