May 23, 2022
Dear Members of the Senate Energy Natural Resources Committee and House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee,
We, the members of the National Parks Second Century Action Coalition1i The 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 National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022 and urge the committees to swiftly move the bill and ensure final passage. National parks unite our country as evidenced by the bipartisan support of committee leadership and park champions for this bill. We commend the leadership of Senators Portman, King and Daines and Representatives Grijalva and Westerman.
The National Park Foundation is the official charitable partner of the National Park Service that directly supports the parks with private funding and strategic partnerships. Annually, the National Park Foundation raises over $100 million in private funds to support the national parks.
The National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022 reauthorizes the National Park Foundation’s appropriations through 2030 and increases the authorization level from $5 million to $15 million. The federal investment requires a minimum 1:1 match with private dollars. Currently there are over $20 million worth of projects waiting for a federal match.
The funding helps reduce the deferred maintenance backlog and address pressing issues like overcrowding. In 2020, NPS used $2 million ($1 million federal/$1 million private) to reconstruct and modernize the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The funding helped the NPS construct a new road, parking area and entrance kiosks and these additions are expected to reduce visitor wait times by 50%. In addition, the National Park Foundation used $50,000 ($25,000 federal/$25,000 private) to restore Lake Irene and Lower Tonahutu Trails at Rocky Mountain National Park.
The 100+ year-old National Park Service is challenged by aging infrastructure, visitation pressures, and decades of inconsistent funding. Investments from the federal government, private donations, entrance and recreation fees all help support our parks. The National Park Foundation is a key partner in ensuring that support and warrants continued federal resources that can leverage private donations. We urge the committee to move the National Parks Foundation Reauthorization Act as soon as possible.
Thank you for considering our views,
American Hiking Society
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Atomic Heritage Foundation
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
Friends of Acadia
Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Friends of Saguaro National Park
International Inbound Travel Association
League of Conservation Voters
National Park Hospitality Association
National Parks Conservation Association
National Park Trust
National Park Partners
National Tour Association
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
Public Lands Alliance
Rocky Mountain Conservancy
RV Industry Association
Southeast Tourism Society
Student Conservation Association
United States Tour Operators Association
US Travel Association
Western States Tourism Policy Council
Wild Rivers Conservancy of the St. Croix & Namekagon
- 1i The 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.