The RV Industry Association (RVIA) and other National Parks Second Century Action Coalition support the National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022, urging Congress to quickly pass the bill that would reauthorize the National Park Foundation’s funding through 2030.
The National Park Foundation is the official charity partner of the National Park Service (NPS) that directly aids the parks by providing private funds and strategic partnerships, as per RVIA’s News & Insights report.
The National Park Foundation Reauthorization Act of 2022 would increase the number of funds for the National Park Foundation from $5 million to $15 million. Since federal investments require the minimum of a 1:1 match to private money, the increase is necessary to tackle the over $20 million worth of projects awaiting the federal matching.
Yearly, the National Park Foundation raises over $100 million of private funds to help support national parks. The funds are used to reduce the deferred maintenance backlog and tackle pressing issues such as overcrowding.
In 2020, NPS utilized $2 million —$1 million from the federal government and $1 million from private sources —to modernize and reconstruct Yellowstone National Park’s North Entrance. The funds helped the service build an additional road, parking area, and kiosks for entry. The additions are expected to cut down wait times for visitors by 50%.
Additionally, the National Park Foundation used $50,000 —$25,000 from federal and $25,000 from private —to restore Lake Irene and Lower Tonahutu Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park.
National parks unite the nation, as demonstrated by the bipartisan support of Congress members and park advocates for this legislation.
RVIA is grateful for the leadership of Senators Portman, King, Daines, and Reps. Grijalva and Westerman. They have recently sent a letter to the Senate Energy Natural Resources Committee and House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee requesting the swift passage of the reauthorization bill.
The more than 100-year-old NPS is hampered by the deterioration of its infrastructure, visitation pressures, and years of inconsistent funding from the federal government. Private donations, entrance, and recreation fees help support the country’s parks.
The National Park Foundation is a critical partner in ensuring that support and warrants continued federal resources that can leverage private donations.