Investments in national parks bring stability to local communities and their tourism economies, provide jobs, and ensure the best possible visitor experience. Unfortunately, years of underfunding has forced park managers to care for parks on shoestring budgets, often forcing them to make difficult choices between providing visitor services or repairing worn out facilities.
Coming into office the year after the national parks 2016 centennial, the Trump administration had the opportunity to leverage support for parks into much needed funding increases. Instead, the administration proposed the largest cut in national park funding in over 70 years. A government-wide hiring freeze also left the Park Service with needed positions unfilled, even if there was funding available to hire those positions.
In response to inadequate budget proposals, Congress should:
- Reject the administration’s funding proposal and fund the Park Service so rangers can get back to work protecting wildlife, maintaining our trails, guiding us through amazing landscapes and teaching us about our history.
- Support legislation with a dedicated funding source to address the Park Service’s repair backlog.