How Portman’s Bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act Will Benefit Ohio

June 10, 2020 | Portman Difference

This week, the Senate is considering Senator Portman’s bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act, which will support more than 100,000 jobs over the next five years to rebuild critical park infrastructure by addressing the more than $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog at the National Park Service (NPS). The bill is a part of a broader package, the Great American Outdoors Act, landmark legislation that will address the more than $20 billion in deferred maintenance backlog across all federal lands and provide mandatory and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Last week, Portman announced that a new National Parks Service (NPS) study of the Restore Our Parks Act found that the legislation will support an average of 40,300 direct jobs and a total of 100,100 direct and indirect jobs over the next five years to help address the maintenance backlog and rebuild our national parks infrastructure. Portman’s bipartisan legislation, which has been praised by key national and Ohio stakeholders, will establish the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund” to reduce the maintenance backlog by allocating existing unobligated revenues the government receives from on and offshore energy development on federal lands.  Notably, the measure would help tackle the more than $100 million maintenance backlog at Ohio’s eight national park sites, which is highlighted below: 

Ohio National Park Sites

Cost of Deferred Maintenance

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument

$2.4 million

Ohio Cuyahoga Valley National Park

$51.8 million

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

$3.6 million

First Ladies National Historic Site

$882,206

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

$3.5 million

James A Garfield National Historic Site

$1.2 million

Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial

$48.4 million

William Howard Taft National Historic Site

$2.2 million

TOTAL

$114 million

 

Portman, a lifelong outdoorsman and a frequent visitor to Ohio’s national parks, has long been a leader in the U.S. Senate in efforts to protect our national parks. He is the author of the National Park Service Centennial Act, legislation signed into law in 2016 that authorizes the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund and the Second Century Endowment Fund, two public-private partnerships that will help preserve our national parks for generations to come.  In 2019, Portman received the Friend of Industry Award from the Outdoor Industry Association and the Distinguished Travel Champion Award from the U.S. Travel Association for his leadership on the Restore Our Parks Act. In 2017, Portman received the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Champion Award for his work on the National Park Service Centennial Act. He has previously received the 2012 NPCA Centennial Award, the 2015 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Centennial Leader Award

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