September 29, 2021
We, the members of 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., write in support of the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, particularly the significant investments for national parks through investments in the Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP), Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) and Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Project Program (NSFLTP).
The increased investments for the FLTP, FLAP and NSFLTP would provide necessary funding to help address the billions of dollars of transportation maintenance needs, such as paved roads, parking lots, tunnels, bridges throughout and provide access to our national parks. The FLTP was established to support the transportation infrastructure owned and maintained by the federal land management agencies, including the National Park Service (NPS). The proposed investments would provide the NPS the crucial resources to further chip away at the remaining backlog of maintenance needs and maintain current assets, while also providing jobs throughout the country.
The FLAP funding provides funding to States and local governments to fund transportation improvements that “provide access to, are adjacent to, or are located within Federal lands.” This funding is critical to helping provide transportation access such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, parking areas and transit facilities near our national parks.
The increased funding for NSFLTP would provide a necessary funding stream for federal lands and tribes to address massive infrastructure projects needing a large investment at one time. In recent years, the program’s funding has been used for Natchez Trace Parkway, Yellowstone National Park and Tamiami Trail in the Everglades. The most recent award provided funding for the overdue replacement of the propane-powered Zion shuttle buses with cost-efficient battery- electric buses, which will cut down on air pollution in and around the park and ensure public access. We support the additional funding and particularly appreciate the $55 million dedicated funding for this program.
Our national parks and public lands generate billions of dollars for local economies in tourism dollars, jobs and tax revenue. Repairing and maintaining them is a smart investment, and will create additional infrastructure-related jobs, as well as preserve visitor access and resources.
American Hiking Society
American Society of Landscape Architect
The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
Evangelical Environmental Network
Friends of Acadia
International Inbound Travel Association
National Park Hospitality Association
National Parks Conservation Association
National Tour Association
Rocky Mountain Conservancy
RV Industry Association
Southeast Tourism Society
United States Tour Operators Association