Hoeven: Theodore Roosevelt National Park Scenic Loop to Receive Restore Our Parks Funding In FY2021

Senator Worked to Pass Legislation He Cosponsored as Part of the Great American Outdoors Act, Advanced Scenic Loop Repairs with Interior Secretary Bernhardt

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt listed the Scenic Loop Drive in the South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP) as a priority project under the Restore Our Parks Act, which Hoeven cosponsored and worked to pass earlier this year as part of the Great American Outdoors Act. This ensures the road repair and construction project will receive funding from the Restore Our Parks Act in fiscal year (FY) 2021. Since joining President Trump as he signed the bill into law in August, Hoeven has been advocating for the project to be selected for funding from the National Park and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund created by the legislation.

“We worked to secure the scenic loop’s inclusion on this priority list as it further cements the National Park Service’s commitment to the project and ensures funding from the Restore Our Parks Act will be put toward the construction effort,” said Hoeven. “We appreciate Secretary Bernhardt, Secretary Chao, and staff at the NPS and Federal Highway Administration for their continued work with us to address this and other deferred maintenance needs at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We passed the Restore Our Parks Act for just this reason – to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience at our nation’s national parks, which serve an important role in our heritage and local economies.”

Rebuilding TRNP’s Scenic Loop

Hoeven has been working with the administration to help advance repairs for TRNP’s scenic loop, including: 

  • Discussing the need to complete the project in a timely manner with Department of Transportation Secretary Chao, who oversees the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
  • Holding regular meetings with Interior, FHWA and National Park Service (NPS) officials to advocate for the project’s inclusion on the priority list and to monitor its progress. 

The FHWA began its preconstruction work for the scenic loop earlier this year, which includes a geotechnical assessment and design, with construction expected to start in spring of 2022.

Addressing Deferred Maintenance 

The Great American Outdoors Act created a National Park and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund using excess revenue from on and offshore energy production on federal lands. This will provide up to $1.9 billion per year for the next 5 years to address deferred maintenance 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 are dedicated to the NPS and will 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 does not impact existing mineral and energy revenues that go to the states.