SEMA eNews Vol. 22, No. 47, November 21, 2019

U.S. Senate Committee Passes Legislation to Reduce Maintenance Backlog at National Parks

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed SEMA-supported legislation that would dedicate much-needed funding to address a more than $12 billion maintenance backlog in America’s National Parks. The “Restore Our Parks Act,” S. 500, would create a National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund for Fiscal Years 2020 through 2024, using unallocated revenue from energy produced on federal government owned lands and waters. The amount of money that could be allocated to the fund would be capped at $1.3 billion annually during the five-year program.

The bill is strongly supported by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), which is comprised of 27 top industry associations, including SEMA, representing off-roading, camping, fishing, boating, hiking, archery and other sports. This legislation recognizes the significant economic contributions that the outdoor recreation industry generates ($887 billion per year in economic activity and provides an estimated 7.6 million direct jobs) and is consistent with ORR’s efforts to support rebuilding and expanding the nation’s recreation-related infrastructure.

The House Natural Resources Committee passed companion legislation, the “Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act” (H.R. 1225), in October, which awaits House floor consideration. H.R. 1225 is more expansive than S. 500, as it creates a National Park Service and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund, which allows funds to be allocated to address the maintenance backlog for lands managed by the Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management, in addition to the National Park Service.

For more information, contact Eric Snyder at erics@sema.org.

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