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National parks across the United States in recent decades have been struggling under a mounting and massive backlog of deferred maintenance. Now, some help is on the way.
The recent enactment of the Great American Outdoors Act establishes the National Park and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund and provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, according to the Tri-State Livestock News.
The act includes the “provides critical support to our national parks and will help to ensure these facilities can continue to safely serve visitors for years to come,” says John Hoeven, R-N.D. “That is not only important for the preservation of our history and landscapes, but it will also strengthen our parks’ contributions to local economies across the country, just as the Theodore Roosevelt National Park does in North Dakota.”
Specifically, the law will create a National Park and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund using excess revenue from on and offshore energy production on federal lands. This would provide up to $1.9 billion per year for facilities and projects under the NPS, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Education.
Seventy percent of these funds would be dedicated to the National Parks Service and would help address the agency’s maintenance backlog. These revenues already accrue to the federal government, and accordingly, the legislation requires no new taxes and would not impact mineral and energy revenues that go to the states.
Dan Hounsell is editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.