Warner, Kaine urge action on national parks maintenance backlog

congressU.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine are urging congressional leaders to increase funding to address the maintenance backlog facing the country’s national parks.

“With a nearly $6 billion maintenance backlog attributable to the type of repair, rehabilitation and cyclic maintenance projects that receive funding through the Interior appropriations bill, it is imperative that the noteworthy increases provided last year be sustained or increased,” wrote the Senators in a letter to congressional appropriators. “It is crucial that national park facilities be kept safe and accessible so they may continue to welcome and educate the millions of American and international visitors who pass through their gates each year.”

Deferred maintenance is necessary work – performed on infrastructure, such as visitor centers, rest stops, trails and campgrounds – that has been delayed for more than one year. There is a nearly $6 billion non-transportation maintenance backlog at the National Park Service as a result of aging facilities, increasing use of park facilities, and years of underfunding.

Last year the National Park Service (NPS) was forced to defer $163 million in non-transportation maintenance projects at its sites in Virginia, including Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Assateague Island, Booker T. Washington National Monument, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Fort Monroe National Monument, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Battlefields Memorial National Military Park, George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Petersburg National Battlefield, Richmond National Battlefield Park, Shenandoah National Park, and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

 

National Park Non-Roads Deferred Maintenance in FY15*

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park$1,221,502
Assateague Island NS$2,308,682
Blue Ridge Parkway$18,505,932
Booker T Washington National Monument$966,775
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP$716,855
Colonial National Historical Park$17,806,359
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park$846,794
Fort Monroe National Monument$1,833,027
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Battlefields Mem NMP$3,077,060
George Washington Birthplace National Monument$371,480
George Washington Memorial Parkway$41,691,597
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park$14,194
Maggie L Walker National Historic Site$327,782
Manassas National Battlefield Park​$1,822,770
Petersburg National Battlefield$8,511,401
Prince William Forest Park$11,638,579
Richmond National Battlefield Park$10,111,948
Shenandoah National Park$27,676,140
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts$13,619,887
Total$163,068,764

*Non-transportation assets include buildings, housing, trails, campgrounds, unpaved roads, utility systems, dams, constructed waterways, marinas, aviation systems, railroads, ships, monuments, fortifications, towers, interpretive media and amphitheaters.​ In cases of multi-state parks, these figures reflect deferred maintenance on assets located solely in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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