August 30, 2021
Dear Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso,
As the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources prepares its portion of S. Con. Res. 14, the National Parks Second Century Action Coalition1The National Parks Second Century Action Coalition is made up of organizations supporting conservation, recreation, outdoor industry, travel and tourism and historic preservation that are dedicated to promoting the protection, restoration, and enjoyment of the National Park System for the long-term benefit it offers our nation. requests $5 billion for the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to address deferred maintenance needs in our national parks and other public lands and restore these treasures to better adapt to and mitigate climate change impacts.
Many cultural resources and visitor access infrastructures within our national parks and public lands face degradation due to a changing climate and agencies like the National Park Service and others need to incorporate adaptation and mitigation strategies and activities in their stewardship of these special places. Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which established the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, was an instrumental step toward addressing priority repairs within our public lands, but it only considers a portion of the current deferred maintenance needs.
Additional resources are needed to tackle more of the degraded infrastructure, including deteriorating historic sites, crumbling roads, visitor centers, and trails throughout the country. In addition, as these structures are rebuilt or restored, priority must be given to sustainable design, resilient materials, and energy efficiencies to help the agencies better adapt, withstand, and mitigate climate impacts.
Therefore, as you set to formulate the committee’s priorities, we support $5 billion for the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund to better prepare our national parks for the impacts of climate change and be a part of the solution to addressing it.
Thank you for considering our views,
American Hiking Society
American Society of Landscape Architects
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Atomic Heritage Foundation
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
Friends of Acadia
International Inbound Travel Association
National Park Hospitality Association
National Park Partners
National Parks Conservation Association
National Tour Association
Public Lands Alliance
Rocky Mountain Conservancy
Southeast Tourism Society
The Evangelical Environmental Network
Washington Tourism Alliance
Western States Tourism Policy Council
Wild Rivers Conservancy of the St. Croix & Namekagon