Hoeven Statement on Senate Passage of Great American Outdoors Act

Legislation Includes Restore Our Parks Act to Help Address Deferred Maintenance at NPS Facilities

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after joining the Senate in passing the Great American Outdoors Act, a bill that includes the Restore Our Parks Act, legislation Hoeven cosponsored and helped introduce to address deferred maintenance needs at National Park Service (NPS) facilities.

“National parks are a tremendous resource for North Dakota, helping to preserve our beautiful landscapes, as well as our history and heritage, while also supporting nearly $60 million in economic activity in our state each year,” said Hoeven. “We advanced the Restore Our Parks Act to bolster investment in our national parks’ facilities and infrastructure, like the repairs that are underway on the Scenic Loop Drive in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We welcome Senate passage of our bill, and we hope it will move quickly through the House and be signed into law.”

Addressing the NPS Maintenance Backlog

Specifically, the bill passed today would create a National Park and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund using excess revenue from on and offshore energy production on federal lands. This would provide up to $1.9 billion per year for facilities and projects under the NPS, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Education.

Seventy percent of these funds would be dedicated to the NPS and would help address the agency’s maintenance backlog, including about $50 million of deferred maintenance in North Dakota, consisting mostly of road repairs. These revenues already accrue to the federal government, and accordingly, the legislation requires no new taxes and would not impact mineral and energy revenues that go to the states.

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

In addition to the Restore Our Parks Act, today’s legislation would ensure the LWCF, which supports federal and state investment in conservation of natural areas, water resources and outdoor recreation, is fully funded each year. North Dakota received $1.9 million from this program in Fiscal Year 2020.