June 08, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), announced that a new National Parks Service (NPS) study of the Restore Our Parks Act – legislation introduced by Senator King and expected to be debated in the Senate next week – found that the legislation will support an average of 40,300 direct jobs and 100,100 direct and indirect jobs over the next five years, while helping to address the more than $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the NPS. The Senate is expected to take up this bill on Monday, included within S. 3422, the Great American Outdoors Act, landmark legislation to address the deferred maintenance backlog across the federal land management agencies and to provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. S. 3422 is led by Senators King, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Mark Warner (D-Va.), and will provide up to $6.65 billion over five years to address priority deferred maintenance needs at our national parks.
“Each year, millions of people come from across the globe to see the sun rise from Cadillac Mountain, walk to Thunder Hole, or explore any of the other breathtaking, one-of-a-kind vistas Acadia National Park has to offer,” said Senator King. “When those people come, they spend money – supporting Maine jobs, industries, and communities. Today’s report makes clear just how vital ANP and other national parks around the country are to America’s economy, and emphasizes the importance of our bipartisan Restore Our Parks legislation – which, in light of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on tourism, is needed now more than ever.”
Senator King, ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks Committee, joined several of his colleagues earlier this year to introduce the Great American Outdoors Act. The legislation, which includes Senator King’s Restore Our Parks Act, would establish the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund” to reduce the maintenance backlog by allocating existing revenues the government receives from on and offshore energy development. This consensus legislation was passed on a bipartisan basis by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in November. In September 2018, Senator King joined Acting NPS Director Dan Smith on a tour of Acadia National Park to assess the park’s critical maintenance need; the backlog at Acadia alone is estimated to be approximately $60 million.