262 Former and Current NPS Employees Sign Letter Requesting Funding of $11.3 Billion Maintenance Backlog

Friday, June 16, 2017

Read this letter as a PDF.

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
Interior Subcommittee
Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Ken Calvert
House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Tom Udall
Ranking Minority Member
Interior Subcommittee
Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Betty McCollum
Ranking Minority Member
House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chair Murkowski, Chair Calvert, Ranking Member Udall, and Ranking Member McCollum:

On behalf of all who value America’s heritage, the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks respectfully requests you act swiftly and fund the National Park Service’s $11.3 billion maintenance backlog. The failure of our nation to address this maintenance and infrastructure repair backlog is greatly inhibiting the agency’s ability to fulfill its mission to “Preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.”

Our nation is now in its second century of protecting and preserving America’s most treasured sites, places that represent our country’s natural majesty, rich culture, and vibrant history. But as record-breaking crowds flock to our national parks, they face an incredible challenge: nearly $12 billion is needed to fix trails, historic buildings, roads, outdated utility systems, and other infrastructure, but NPS simply doesn’t have the financial resources necessary to keep up with repairs

National Park Service staff does an amazing job managing and operating our parks, but the sheer magnitude and accrual of the deferred maintenance backlog is what makes it a difficult challenge. The needed repairs are wide ranging, from unmaintained trails to crumbling roads, and from aging visitor centers – built over 50-years ago – to antiquated and undersized fire suppression and sewage treatment systems. Parks 40 years old or older, like Shenandoah, Acadia and Rocky Mountain, account for over $10.5 billion of the backlog. Some projects would cost only a few thousand dollars to fix, while others could cost millions. Continued underfunding of park maintenance will continue to deeply jeopardize the future of America’s natural and cultural heritage.

No National Park Service unit is immune to this affliction. Based on 2015 data, the nationwide National Park Service maintenance backlog is estimated at $11.3 billion, including more than $2.2 billion to repair buildings, nearly $73 million for campground maintenance, over $530 million for trail restoration, and more than $6 billion for fixing roads. The fact that National Park System receives over 330 million visitors each year underscores the need to prioritize funding for park repairs. In 2016, visitors to national park sites spent over $18 billion in local communities, generating $34.9 billion in total economic output nationwide and 318,000 jobs.

Investment in national park infrastructure makes good economic sense, yet the entire National Park Service budget makes up just 1/15th of one percent of the federal budget. In fact, the agency receives less than 60 cents out of every dollar it needs just to keep the backlog from growing.

Congress created the National Park Service a century ago to protect America’s treasured natural, historical, and cultural sites, and to ensure that Americans can enjoy these treasures. It is Congress’ responsibility to ensure the agency has the resources it needs to fulfill that mission.


The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks Executive Council:

Maureen Finnerty, Chair

Philip A. Francis, Jr., Vice Chair

Brenda Barrett

Maria Burks

Mark A. Butler

David M. Graber

Donald J. Hellmann

Douglas K. Morris

Michael B. Murray

Richard Ring

Sheridan Steele

Kate Stevenson

de Teel Patterson (Pat) Tiller


Ann Belkov

Deny Galvin

Jerry M. Mitchell

Paul Anderson

Daniel W. Brown

Edward Peter Walzer

S. Elizabeth (Lisa) Sasser

Terry Savage

Jerry L. Rogers

Carolyn Knoll

Molly N. Ross

David A. Clary

Oron Lamar Bass, Jr.

John F Byrne

Katherine C. Ziegenfus

JH “Jack” Ramsden

Walter J Chavez

Jon Boyce

Richard B. Smith

Peggy Dolinich

Jane M. Sundberg

Edwin A. Hession

Warren Hill

Fred C Bolenske

Marcia Blaszak

Leonard C Emerson

Cynthia M. Holda

Alison Robb

Edwin L. Rothfuss

Diane Allen

Frank Edward Hastings

Barbara (“B.J.”) Griffin

Jere Krakow

Steven Gazzano

Ronald Alan Wilson

Steve Whitesell

George Gilbert Soper

Robert Arnberger

Gregory F. Stiles

Gail C. Menard

Thomas Allen Smith

Mr. Kim Watson

Patrick H. Reed

William A. Sanders

Norah D Martinez

Edward F. Clark III

Cherry Payne

Dan R Moses

Don H. Castleerry

Daniel Pontbriand

Gary T Cummins

Sam M. Weddle

J. Douglas Cuillard

Hugh C. Miller

Deborah E. Peck

Russ Case

Warren Bielenberg

Kevin P Dempsey

Bennie C. Keel

Michael Harold Bureman

John W. Howard

Nancy A. Nelson

Denis P. Galvin

Vaughn Baker

Jack Everett Stark

Reed L. Engle

James C Roach

Donald H. Weir

Thomas M. Lorig

Larry Edwin Henderson

James C. Redford Jr.

David J Donohue

Roberta D’Amico

Stephen W. Hastings

Kathy Tustanowski

Kimberlee Trodahl

Connie Rudd

Linda Finn

Robert White

Jervis D. Swannack

Elizabeth Van Zandt

William O. Fink

Larry N. Kilborn

Jerry Pendleton

John R. Erisman

Frances J. Rutter

Donna Williams

Timothy Harvey

John E. Hunter

Luke E. Dalton

William Jackson

James Zinck

Frank P. Weed

James T. Reynolds

John P. Debo, Jr.

Dee Renee Ericks

David Scott Hartwig

Charles E Schultheis

David N. Given

Gene and Lizbeth Casey

Douglas DeNio, P.E.

Steven Harrison

Charles B Voll

Thomas Workman

William Carroll

Donald Fox

Charles R Farabee, Jr.

Leslie Starr Hart

Richard M. Bryant

Gordon V. Gay

R. Bruce Edmonston

Gary E. Davis

Jean H Rodeck

Amy Gilbert

Stephen Warren Underwood

Janet C. Wolf

Bruce W. Bytnar

David Nathanson

David D. Thompson Jr.

Erin K. Broadbent

Philip Heckman

William Carroll

John W. Wade

James M. Vekasi

Bruce Daniel Murphy

Joan Anzelmo

Paul Henderson

Randy W Turner

Terrence D. Moore

Tom Haraden

Addison A. Hulse

William Gibson

Dennis Burnett

Ruth C. Sommers

Ginny Rousseau

Richard E. Wells

Donovan B Rafferty

David & Blanche Roberts

Cyndy Holda

Erik R. Hauge

Chris Seymour

Thomas W. Sweeney

J. Scott Harmon

M. Jeff Ohlfs

David L Moffitt

Robert Yearout

Barbara J. (B.J.) Griffin

Thomas A. Smith

David Parsons

Larry L. Hakel

Elizabeth K. Murray

Mark Forbes

Debra E. Levie

Rhonda Brewer

Sandra A. Alley

Annmarie Mikelski

Jack E Stark

Stephen R Bruner

James E. Fox

Wesley H. Greene

Rick L Mossman

Jonathan Brent Halpern

Jacqueline A. Gonzales

Sharon Paris

Neal G Guse

Gail C Menard

Richard B. Smith

Edwin Hession

Rick Jones

Patrick R Vigil

Donald A. Falvey

Rebecca M. Post

Scott E. Tilley

Daniel Taylor

Kathy A Tonnessen

Lawrence F. Knowles

James Phillip Corless

Frank Joseph Deckert

Thomas E. Lubbert

Timothy R. Mansn

Donna Williams

Colin “Toby” Hastie

Richard D. Falb

Maryanne Gerbauckas

William C. Walters

Larry Walling

Mary G Martin

Alfred James Poole

Robert L Peterson

Vito Spinale

O.V. Olsen

Rev. William R. Morris

Donald E. Magee

Hal Grovert

Dorothy Davis

Dr. Harold P. Danz

Warren Hill

David Haet

Henry Clay Warren, Jr.

George Buckingham

Gilbert E. Blinn

Anthony J. Bonanno

John K. Apel

Chuck Young

William F. Loftus, Ph.D.

Laura Rotegard

Nicholas J Eason

B. William Henry

John E. Hunter

Leon Folsom

Richard Martin

Elwood Lynn

Douglas Stover

Denton McCullough

Richard Rasp

Edward Bruce Patrovsky

James R. Zinck

Richard Ernenwein

Michael Tollefson

Charles R. “Butch” Farabee, Jr.

Fran Rutter

Tom Patterson

Denis M Osowski

Kenneth E. Apschnikat

David H Wallace

Vernon C. Gilbert

W. Philip Koepp

Daniel J. Jenner

Jane C. Anderson

Kim Watson

James M. Poole

Timothy J. Oliverius

George Alderson

Warren Lee Brown

John Muller

John Howard

John P. Bloom

David C. Hartman

Gary G. Brandow

Stephanie Gibert

Roberta Barrows

Bruce D. McKeeman

Bob White

Sarah Bransom

Marc Severson

Richard W. Tate

Carol Hammel

Carol D. Shull

Bruce MacDougal

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This page last modified: June 26, 2017 @ 1:02 pm