Trump, Senate reach deal on parks maintenance backlog funding
President Trump announced Wednesday that he will back a bipartisan effort led by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., to address the $12 billion maintenance backlog at national parks around the country.
The agreement will provide $6.5 billion in funding to go toward the backlog, which includes more than $1.1 billion in Virginia maintenance projects.
The legislation will create more than 100,000 jobs, including 10,000 in Virginia.
“We’re not only talking about trails and bridges. Anybody who lives in the National Capital Region – you commute on G.W. Parkway, you can see the deteriorated state of that road. That is one of those assets that we have deferred maintenance on,” Sen. Warner said at a news conference Wednesday announcing the legislative breakthrough.
The Restore Our Parks Act, which has been praised by key stakeholders, would reduce the maintenance backlog by establishing the National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund and allocating existing revenues the government receives from on and offshore energy development.
This funding would come from 50 percent of all revenues that are not otherwise allocated and deposited into the General Treasury, not to exceed $1.3 billion each year for the next five years.
In November, the Restore Our Parks Act was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and sent to the Senate floor, where it awaits approval.
A full list of deferred maintenance needs at Virginia’s national parks can be found here.