Secretary Zinke Kicks Off National Parks Infrastructure Discussion at Bipartisan Event


Highlighting the need to repair and rebuild our parks, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke spoke Tuesday at a bi-partisan event at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. The focus of the event was on fixing and preserving national park infrastructure and the $11.6 billion maintenance backlog currently facing our nation’s 417 national parks. The Secretary was joined by Senators Rob Portman, Mark Warner, Lamar Alexander, Angus King, and Steve Daines, as well as representatives from the National Park Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, National Parks Conservation Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Outdoor Industry Association. Secretary Zinke also premiered a new National Park Service video that highlights the love story of Americans and our national parks.

“The immense infrastructure needs and maintenance backlog is one of the key issues facing our nation’s parks,” said Secretary Zinke. “Since my confirmation hearing, I’ve been adamant that we must address the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks. This isn’t a Republican issue or a Democrat issue—it’s an American issue. Addressing the infrastructure needs of our national parks is an investment in their future and in ensuring they live up to their world-class reputation for generations to come. As we continue to focus on increasing access to our public lands, we must address this great need because they go hand-in-hand. Yesterday’s discussion was another important step in this fight.”