Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced legislation today that would address the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog at our national parks without adding to the national debt.
According to the National Park Service, more than 300 million visitors come to national parks each year. Because of growing visitation and limited resources, there is a backlog of maintenance work on roads, bridges, visitor centers, historic buildings, trails and campgrounds. Enzi’s bill would provide a paid-for, steady funding stream to begin working on the maintenance backlog.
“Our national parks are a testament to our heritage and the natural beauty of this nation,” Enzi said. “However, without sufficient funding, our parks can fall into disrepair. This bill would help ensure our national parks are properly maintained so folks can continue to enjoy them now and in the future.”
The National Travel and Tourism Office found that more than one-third of overseas travelers visited a national park or national monument in 2018. To help cover the cost of these visitors, who likely visited a park that has no entrance fee, Enzi’s legislation would authorize a fund paid for by increasing tourist B-1/B-2 visa fees, increasing the Electronic System for Travel Authorization fee and a modest park fee increase.
Wyoming’s deferred maintenance backlog is estimated to be $700 million, including $470 million at Yellowstone and $179 million at Grand Teton.