July 18, 2023
Dear Chairwoman Granger, Ranking Member DeLauro and Appropriations Committee Members,
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., urge you to oppose the U.S. House of Representatives Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The bill cuts the National Park Service (NPS) budget by $436 million (nearly 13%) which would result in the loss park staff and dig our parks into an even bigger financial hole as another record-breaking summer season is underway. Our parks’ natural and cultural heritage would be significantly at risk and the visiting experience and local economies that rely on visitors would be impacted.
Specifically, the bill cuts park operations by $266 million (9%) which would result in the loss of at least one thousand rangers and other staff that would significantly undermine both resource protection and visitor services. Additionally, NPS would also have to absorb $120 million in uncontrollable fixed costs like cost-of-living adjustments.
The bill also cuts park construction funding in half (a 52% cut from $287 million to $115 million) and undermines NPS-led historic preservation efforts with a 14% cut to the Historic Preservation Fund. On top of that, it undermines the protection of clean air and water with a drastic cut to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The bill also has a number of policy riders that harm parks. For instance, the bill eviscerates protections for grey wolves and grizzly bears, threatens water quality at Voyageurs National Park by reversing protections to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, prevents funding for environmental justice and undermines protection for clean air and water and climate.
Therefore, we urge you to oppose the U.S. House of Representatives FY24 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
Thank you for considering our views,
The 1882 Foundation
Alliance of National Heritage Areas
American Hiking Society
American Society of Landscape Architects
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Atomic Heritage Foundation
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
The Corps Network
Discover Your Northwest
Friends of Acadia
Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters
Friends of Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Park
Great Smoky Mountains Association
International Inbound Travel Association
Mission Heritage Partners
Mount Rushmore Society
National Park Hospitality Association
National Park Partners of Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Moccasin Bend
National Park Solutions
National Parks Conservation Association
Public Lands Alliance
Rocky Mountain Conservancy
Southeast Tourism Society
Student Conservation Association
U.S. Travel Association
The Wilderness Society
Zion National Park Forever Project
- 1The 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.