National Parks Caucus Co-Chairs Urge for Floor Vote on Bipartisan Park Maintenance Bill
by Will Hurd on November 22, 2019 at 12:17 PM
National Parks Caucus co-chairs U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (WI-03) and I led a bipartisan letter from the Caucus recently urging House Leadership to bring the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act to the House floor for a vote. This bipartisan bill works to reduce the nearly $12 billion backlog the National Park Service (NPS) faces to repair critical park infrastructure and passed out of the Natural Resources Committee in June.
In 2018, Texas national parks faced over $154 million in backlogged maintenance projects, including the following amounts at parks located in the 23rd District of Texas:
- $89,657,790 at Big Bend National Park;
- $10,698,835 at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park;
- $5,865,024 at Guadalupe Mountains National Park;
- $5,607,923 at Amistad National Recreational Area; and,
- $4,741,523 at Fort Davis National Historic Site.
Nature is not just a destination, it’s our home. We must make sure that our national parks and historic sites, including the eight I represent, continue to provide immeasurable cultural, environmental and economic benefits across local communities for generations to come. I am proud of the hard work my colleagues and I have put into the bipartisan Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act to reduce the nearly $12 billion backlog our National Park Service faces in repairing critical park structures, and I hope to see it on the House floor soon. The future of our parks depends on it.
“Like many Americans, some of my favorite memories center around trips my family and I have taken to our national parks. National parks carry a unique natural, historic, and economic importance to our country, and without congressional action to address the needs of our national parks, these lands will suffer and repairs will become more costly,” said Kind. “The Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act is a bipartisan and fiscally sensible solution that will fix the backlog of maintenance, address staffing needs, and increase accessibility so that future generations are able to continue to enjoy our national treasures.”
This bipartisan bill provides investments to reduce backlog in deferred maintenance projects by directing half of unallocated federal mineral revenues. Rep. Hurd cosponsored identical legislation last Congress.
Read the letter, here.