WASHINGTON (WFXR) — After months of deliberation, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the Restore Our Parks Act to address the $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog at the National Parks Service (NPS).
This bipartisan bill would establish the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund”, which would decrease the maintenance backlog by using existing government revenues from on and offshore energy development to fund deferred maintenance projects at parks and historic sites across the country.
WFXR reported the local consequences of the NPS backlog in September, including a deferred maintenance backlog of $186 million on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Sen. Mark Warner (D–Va.), who co-sponsored the legislation, said, “National parks are not only instrumental in telling America’s story, they also serve as important economic engines that support thousands of jobs in communities across the country. In fact, the 22.2 million visitors who explored Virginia’s national parks last year spent an estimated $1.1 billion, supporting more than 16,000 thousand jobs. Today’s committee passage of the Restore Our Parks Act is a big first step in investing in our communities and funding the critical renovations our parks require.”
The Restore Our Parks Act still awaits a full Senate vote.
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