U.S. Rep McSally Introduces Bill to Address National Park Service Maintenance Funding Backlog
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today introduced legislation to help address the National Park Service’s growing billion-dollar maintenance backlog. The legislation, the National Park Service Transparency and Accountability Act, directs the National Park Service to re-evaluate its current strategy of prioritizing maintenance projects and to submit its findings to Congress.
“Natural beauty is all around us in Arizona,” said Congresswoman McSally. “The problem is that a backlog of needed restoration projects on our public lands is restricting Arizonans and tourists from accessing our parks and public areas. Unfortunately—this billion-dollar backlog has only been growing. Obviously, the National Park Service strategy to tackle their staggering amount of maintenance and service requests is not working. My good governance legislation is an important step towards addressing systemic problems and ensuring that limited resources are invested wisely on all park units— not only on the ‘Crown Jewels’ of the park system.”
From FY2009 to FY2015 the National Park Service’s backlog increased from $10.2 billion to $11.9 billion, and Arizona has one of the largest backlogs in the nation. There is a $580.2 million in delayed or deferred restoration projects throughout the Grand Canyon State. In Rep. McSally’s district specifically, maintenance projects requiring attention at Saguaro National Park amount to approximately $12.9 million, while Chiricahua National Monument in Cochise County faces roughly $10.3 million in needed restoration projects.
In a recent study the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that review and further evaluation of the National Park Service’s current strategy could lead to a greater reduction in the current backlog. The National Park Service Transparency and Accountability Act codifies the recommendations put forward by the GAO and requires the National Park Service to submit its findings to Congress.
The bill follows Rep. McSally’s continued efforts since taking office to address this backlog.
To view the legislative text, CLICK HERE.
To view the GAO study the legislation references, CLICK HERE.