Simpson Leads Bipartisan Parks and Public Lands Bill
Legislation would address the multibillion-dollar maintenance backlog in National Parks and other public lands
Washington, D.C. - Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson joined a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress to introduce the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act. The bill would create a dedicated fund to address the $12 billion maintenance backlog in the National Parks (NPS) and multibillion-dollar backlog that exists at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). The proposal is consensus legislation that combines Congressman Simpson’s National Park Restoration Act and LAND ACT, and Congressman Will Hurd’s National Park Service Legacy Act.
“This is an exciting day for public lands and national park advocates,” said Simpson. “Growing up in Yellowstone’s backyard, I was afforded the opportunity to enjoy our nation’s first national park. That is why I feel it is important to pay it forward to future visitors that deserve the same quality experience as past generations. I look forward to working with all the stakeholders to advance legislation that will help restore our parks and public lands.”
Specifically, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act would create a dedicated fund of money to fix the backlog maintenance at the NPS, USFWS, BLM, and BIE. The money would come from onshore and offshore energy revenues that are currently not obligated to other purposes. The bill is estimated to raise roughly $6.5 billion over the course of five years.
The legislation was introduced with over 50 bipartisan cosponsors and has bicameral support with a Senate version that was introduced in June. The legislation also has the support of President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ restore America’s parks campaign, and the Outdoor Industry Association.