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May 11, 2022

King, Portman Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Public-Private Partnerships that Fund National Parks Improvements, Maintenance

The National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022 would help fund the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service through 2030

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine), chair of the Senate National Parks Subcommittee, and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), today introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to grow the public-private partnerships that support our National Parks. The National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022 would reauthorize federal funding for the Congressionally-chartered National Park Foundation through fiscal year 2030 and increase the authorization level from $5 million to $15 million. The National Park Foundation uses its funding to match private donations that help finance crucial deferred maintenance, Service Corps, historic preservation, and other signature projects and programs of the National Park Service at national parks in Maine and around the country. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) is a cosponsor, and companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.).

“America’s National Parks are among the world’s greatest treasures, providing memorable experiences to millions from around the globe. For more than 50 years, the Congressionally-chartered National Park Foundation (NPF) has played a vital role in protecting these lands for current and future Americans,” said National Parks Subcommittee Chairman King. “From expanding camping access at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument to restoring wetlands in Smoky Mountains National Park, the NPF has successfully worked to preserve and expand access to America’s parks. Our bipartisan funding expansion and reauthorization for the NPF will strengthen this essential federal conservation partner, enabling them to continue supporting our national parks and the communities across the country that rely on them.”

“The National Park Foundation is an incredibly important partner to our national parks, bringing together federal and private funding to help preserve these natural and cultural treasures for our future generations to enjoy,” said Senator Portman. “Increasing funding for the National Park Foundation, as this legislation would do, will help us strengthen relationships with private partners and support efforts to restore our national parks.”

“We proudly support the National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022 and commend Sens. Portman and King, and Reps. Westerman and Grijalva for introducing this vital legislation,” said National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth. “Since receiving federal funds for the first time in 2018, the National Park Foundation has leveraged the federal funding through the power of private philanthropy to match and more than double this critically important federal investment, adding to the tens of millions of private, philanthropic dollars the National Park Foundation and a growing community of park partners invest in America’s national parks each year.” 

The National Park Foundation was created in 1967 as the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service (NPS). Its mission is to generate private support and build strategic partnerships to protect and enhance America’s national parks for present and future generations. The National Park Foundation has, to date, received a total of $23 million in federal appropriations. Each year, the Foundation works to, at a minimum, double the impact of the federal dollars — meaning an annual appropriation of $15 million would have an impact of at least $30 million in national parks around the country.

A member of the Energy and Natural Resources and Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Senator King is among the Senate’s loudest voices advocating for public lands and encouraging outdoor recreation. In the April episode of his “Inside Maine” podcast and radio show, King highlighted the importance of National Parks and outdoor recreation with National Parks Subcommittee Ranking Member Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.); Senator King was also recently awarded the inaugural National Park Foundation (NPF) “Hero” Award. Senator King helped lead the passage the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) into law; the legislation includes the Restore Our Parks Act – a bill led by King – and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Permanent Funding Act. The historic legislative package continues Senator King’s career-long focus on conservation efforts, dating back to his work prior to running for elected office through his years as Governor and his service in the Senate. Over the course of his time in the Blaine House, Governor King was responsible for conserving more land across Maine than all Governors before him combined. 

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