National Parks maintenance backlog reaches $11.9 billion
National Park Service this week released its fiscal year 2015 deferred
maintenance statistics for national parks. The $11.93 billion
nationwide total is a $440 million increase from the previous year.
maintenance is necessary work – performed on infrastructure, such as
roads and bridges, visitor centers, trails and campgrounds – that has
been delayed for more than one year. Aging facilities, increasing use
of park facilities and scarce resources contribute to the growing
Congress provided increases this year, the annual bill for maintenance
in America’s national parks is still almost twice as much as is
appropriated,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
funding for the National Park Service in 2016 includes an additional
$90 million for non-transportation maintenance. Congress also passed a
new highway bill which will provide a $28 million increase for
transportation projects in parks this year. Funding for
transportation-related maintenance and construction will continue to
rise, by $8 million per year for five years, until it reaches $300
million per year in 2020.
every unit in the National Park System has maintenance items that have
been deferred. Regions regularly evaluate and prioritize project
submissions to ensure available dollars make a difference, and will be
using the new funds to address the highest priorities.
the report, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore had $61.5 million in
deferred maintenance projects for fiscal year 2015. For details about
deferred maintenance at a particular national park, visit
go.nps.gov/deferredmaint and click on the "NPS Asset Inventory
Summary by Park" report.
though more maintenance items had to be deferred in 2015, these
increases from Congress are welcome. Jarvis said they are part of a
multifaceted approach to end the growth of deferred maintenance and
eventually have enough resources to keep pace with annual maintenance
have a lot yet to do but I think everything is moving in the right
direction,” Jarvis said of the deferred maintenance issue. “Congress
has pitched in with base funding and with additional funds for the
Centennial Challenge – a program that enables us to leverage private
and non-profit partner contributions to complete important projects
that improve visitor services in parks. There is more Congress can do
through the Centennial Act now under consideration including short-term