June 15, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – As the U.S. Senate considers bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) to support America’s national parks, a new National Park Service (NPS) study shows that in 2019, visitor spending in communities near national parks contributed $41.7 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 340,500 jobs. This study comes on the heels of an another NPS study, which shows Senator King’s bipartisan Restore Our Parks would 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, including $65 million at Acadia National Park.
“Each year, Acadia National Park brings millions of people to our state – and in addition to exploring one of the most beautiful parks in the world, these visitors spend their vacations frequenting Maine shops, dining at Maine restaurants, and enjoying the wide variety of recreation Maine has to offer,” said Senator King, Ranking Member of the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. “Today’s study is further proof that national parks are a major contributor to regional economies – and yet another example of why we need to take care of these natural treasures. Our bipartisan bill invests in these lands, and these investments will yield economic and cultural benefits today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.”
Now included as a key component of the Great American Outdoors Act, Senator King first introduced the Restore Our Parks Act in July 2018 with Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Mark Warner (D-Va.). The bipartisan legislation will 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. The backlog in Acadia National Park alone is estimated to be approximately $65 million. Senator King highlighted the impacts of the Restore Our Parks Act on the Senate floor earlier this week.