Along with the other members of the National Parks Second Century Action Coalition, the RV Industry Association supports the National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022 and urges Congress to swiftly pass the bill that would reauthorize the National Park Foundation’s funding through 2030. 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.
The National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022 would increase the funding for the National Park Foundation from $5 million to $15 million. Because federal investment requires a minimum 1:1 match with private dollars, the increase in funding is needed to address the more than $20 million worth of projects waiting for a federal match.
Annually, the National Park Foundation raises over $100 million in private funds to support the national parks. These funds help reduce the deferred maintenance backlog and address pressing issues like overcrowding.
In 2020, the National Park Service used $2 million ($1 million federal/$1 million private) to reconstruct and modernize the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The funding helped the National Park Service construct a new road, parking area, and entrance kiosks. 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.
National parks unite the country, as evidenced by the bipartisan support of Members of Congress and park champions for this bill. The RV Industry Association commends the leadership of Senators Portman, King, and Daines and Representatives Grijalva and Westerman and recently sent a letter to the Senate Energy Natural Resources Committee and House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee asking for quick passage of the reauthorization bill.
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 the country’s parks. The National Park Foundation is a key partner in ensuring that support and warrants continued federal resources that can leverage private donations.