WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) called on Congress to act on the $11 billion maintenance backlog at our national parks in an Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks hearing on Wednesday.
Senator Gardner has been working to advance legislation that would address the billions of dollars in deferred maintenance that the park system is currently facing in Colorado and across the country. Wednesday’s hearing was on the Restore Our Parks Act, legislation that Gardner cosponsored. Gardner also spoke about this issue along with the importance of authorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon.
“As Coloradans, we cherish our public lands. Fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a critical conservation program that preserves public lands and ensures public access to the outdoors, and addressing the massive parks maintenance backlog have been my top priorities while serving in the Senate,” said Senator Gardner. “We are strong supporters of protecting these lands for the next generation and we know firsthand how important it is to make investments in our parks. It is critical that we provide the funding necessary to help address the billions of dollars in deferred maintenance that the park system is currently facing in Colorado and across the country.”
The National Park Service (NPS) maintenance backlog is nearly four times what NPS receives in annual appropriations. Without additional funding, the backlog of infrastructure projects at our national parks will increase. This maintenance backlog limits access to our parks and limits visitor experiences and recreational activities. Wednesday’s hearing focused on the Restore Our Parks Act. This measure would establish the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund.” It would to reduce the maintenance backlog by allocating half of the existing unobligated revenues the government receives from on and offshore energy development up to $1.3 billion per year for the next five years.
Colorado’s national parks have a backlog combined of $238,116,225 according to the National Parks Service.
Breakdown of Parks
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site (BEOL)
-Deferred Maintenance: $1,080,733
Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park (BLCA)
-Deferred Maintenance: $6,508,999
Colorado National Monument (COLM)
-Deferred Maintenance: $19,828,269
Curecanti National Recreation Area (CURE)
-Deferred Maintenance: $14,235,808
Dinosaur National Monument (DINO)
-Deferred Maintenance: $27,292,361
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (FLFO)
-Deferred Maintenance: $2,596,109
Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve (GRSA)
-Deferred Maintenance: $10,396,934
Hovenweep National Monument (HOVE)
-Deferred Maintenance: $385,800
Mesa Verde National Park (MEVE)
-Deferred Maintenance: $70,749,005
Rocky Mountain National Park (ROMO)
-Deferred Maintenance: $84,234,245
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (SAND)
-Deferred Maintenance: $708,907
Yucca House National Monument (YUHO)
-Deferred Maintenance: $149,055