Washington DC — Congressman Tom McClintock spoke in favor of H.R. 4680, the National Park Service Centennial Act, which was passed by the House and awaits Senate consideration.
Congressman McClintock details three important needs he feels the Act addresses; promoting public access and enjoyment of the parks by promoting the expansion, modernization and improvement of visitor services and amenities; promoting good management by placing priority and generating funds to address the growing maintenance backlog; and repairing the relationship between the federal and local governments by giving local officials a say in future historic designations.
Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner to the National Park Service established in 1967, issued the following statement regarding the House Natural Resources Committee’s passage of H.R. 4680, the National Park Service Centennial Act:
“We are encouraged by today’s bipartisan vote in favor of the National Park Service Centennial Act in the House Natural Resources Committee. We commend members of the Committee for coming together to support the National Park Service during its centennial year and applaud the leadership of Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Grijalva, whose commitment to our national parks will ensure another century of their success. We are thrilled that this important legislation passed the Committee with bipartisan support and look forward to the Senate advancing bipartisan legislation as well in the coming weeks.”
As noted by McClintock the Park Service has grown over the past 100 years from 35 national parks and monuments to over 400 units across 84 million acres with a growing backlog of deferred maintenance, now exceeding $12 billion. McClintock also states “Recent reports indicate that visits to parks by those 15 years of age and younger has fallen by half in the last decade.”
Further details from McClintock about the challenges Park Services face are in his newly published blog “NPS Centennial Act” here.