7 Reasons to Save Our Parks Now

The clock is ticking on repairs to these national treasures

7 Reasons to Save Our Parks Now
Harper's Ferry
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Our national parks, which welcome hundreds of millions of visitors every year, are in trouble. The National Park Service has a repair backlog of nearly $12 billion. If we want our parks to continue documenting our history, providing world-class recreation areas, and bolstering local economies, the time to act is now. Here are seven reasons:

1. Congress is poised to act.

More than half of the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate support bipartisan legislation (H.R. 6510/S. 3172) to restore our parks. Key committees in both chambers have held hearings and approved bipartisan legislation that would address priority national park repairs over five years.

2. America wants Congress to #FixOurParks now.

A recent Pew commissioned poll shows that 76 percent of Americans want Congress to pass funding to fix our parks.

3. Businesses and other stakeholders say lawmakers should tackle the repair backlog.

Nearly 3,000 local officials, businesses, and organizations across the country have called on Congress to dedicate more resources to fixing our parks.

4. Action to #FixOurParks is long overdue.

The National Park Service is over 100 years old. Many of its sites and facilities are deteriorating and facing pressures from increased visitation. Congress hasn’t made a significant investment in our parks in more than 50 years, resulting in a backlog of repairs that would cost almost $12 billion to fix.

5. Restoring our parks is a smart investment.

In 2017 alone, national park visitors spent over $18 billion in local communities, generating more than $35 billion in national economic output and over 306,000 jobs.

6. Addressing the national park backlog will create jobs.

A Pew-commissioned analysis found that fully investing in the national park backlog has the potential to create or support approximately 110,000 jobs.

7. Making repairs now saves money later.

Addressing maintenance issues as soon as possible limits the extent of damage and keeps repair costs from escalating over time while preventing the backlog from growing.

Marcia Argust directs The Pew Charitable Trusts' campaign to restore America's parks.

National Park Service
National Park Service
Article

Jobs Interactive: Potential in Restoring Our National Parks

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Article

Our national parks are American treasures. They not only preserve significant historical sites and natural resources, but they also are economic engines for local communities and states. In 2016, the centennial of the National Park Service (NPS) drew record crowds: 331 million visits. These visitors spent more than $18 billion in communities adjacent to parks, which in turn supported 318,150 jobs and nearly $35 billion in national economic output.

Yellowstone landscape
Yellowstone landscape
Fact Sheet

National Park Case Studies

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Fact Sheet

The National Park Service needs almost $12 billion to eliminate its backlog of deferred maintenance. The Pew Charitable Trusts' campaign to restore America's parks has created a series of case studies highlighting examples of repairs needed at our nation's treasures.