WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts welcomes the Trump administration’s announcement today that it intends to work with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID), and other lawmakers to enact legislation to address the multibillion-dollar maintenance backlog facing our National Park System and other public lands.
The legislation will join several other measures in the House of Representatives and Senate aimed at fixing our parks, national monuments, memorials, and historic sites. Marcia Argust, who directs Pew’s restore America’s parks campaign, issued the following statement:
“The effects of deferred maintenance at national park sites can be seen along eroding trails, in neglected historic buildings, at our deteriorating monuments, and in outdated utility systems. The proposal takes a bold step toward resolving this challenge by directing up to $18 billion to park and public land repair needs.
“Restoring our national parks is a smart investment that will preserve our nation’s history and significant landscapes and sustain local communities that depend on park visitor spending. In 2016, more than 330 million park visits generated $18.4 billion in these communities and 318,000 jobs nationwide.
“The introduction of these bills demonstrates an increased awareness of the crucial need to fix our parks and protect our local economies. Nearly 2,000 businesses, associations, and local officials, as well as dozens of cities and counties, have called on Congress to fund infrastructure repairs at our national parks.”
More information on deferred maintenance in national parks is available at pewtrusts.org/restore-americas-parks.
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at pewtrusts.org.