Speak Up for National Parks Funding

A new bill in Congress could help restore climbing areas in National Parks.

Many of our National Parks are suffering from neglect—crumbling trails, dangerous bridges and roads, decrepit restrooms, and out-of-date parking. In fact, the National Park Service has a backlog of maintenance projects to the tune of $11 billion dollars. Some of America’s most iconic climbing areas are located in National Parks—like Yosemite, New River Gorge, Rocky Mountain, Joshua Tree, and Grand Teton National Park to name just a few—and they are long overdue for stewardship.

Right now, Congress is gearing up to vote on a bipartisan bill titled the “Restore Our Parks Act” (H.R. 6510 and S. 3172), which would provide funding to begin repairing national park facilities, infrastructure, and recreation access. This legislation would direct 50% of federal mineral revenues from onshore and offshore oil, gas, coal, mineral, and renewable extraction, that are not already allocated by law to other programs, into a fund that will address the national park maintenance backlog.

This funding would be used to improve climbing trails, parking areas, signage, and a host of other infrastructure that would improve the climbing experience in our National Parks. Access Fund recently signed a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service to provide stewardship services and expertise to help maintain sustainable climbing areas. The Restore Our Parks Act would allow the National Park Service to fund the Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Teams to do more critical work at some of our most valued climbing areas.

Our National Parks and other public lands have been underfunded for far too long, and it’s taking a toll on our most treasured climbing areas. While the Restore Our Parks bill will not provide adequate long-term funding for our National Parks, it is a step in the right direction to begin addressing the maintenance backlog.

Please take 5 minutes to use our easy letter-writing tool and tell your Congressional representatives to support the Restore Our Parks Act and encourage them to keep looking for sustainable funding sources to support public lands.

Photo courtesy of © Chris Burkard