Lawmakers want money for National Park maintenance

May 21, 2022 GMT

BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — Lawmakers from Maine and Colorado are calling on senators to increase funding for infrastructure maintenance on federal lands.

Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine and Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado chair the National Parks Subcommittee in their respective chambers. They said the National Park Service has a backlog of more than $21 billion in deferred maintenance and repairs.

King and Neguse told Senate appropriators that failure to “adequately maintain this infrastructure is irresponsible and negatively impacts visitor access, enjoyment, and safety for the rapidly growing community of public lands visitors.”

The lawmakers said the senators should ensure the fiscal year’s appropriations bill includes “robust annual funding” for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s maintenance obligations.