Portman Visits Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Sees Backlog of Long-Delayed Maintenance Needs Firsthand

July 21, 2018 | Press Releases

Portman’s Bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act Would Help Address the $45 Million Backlog in Long-Delayed Maintenance Projects for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park

CLEVELAND, OH – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) visited and toured Cuyahoga Valley National Park with Superintendent Craig Kenkel and Deb Yandala, CEO of Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Recently, Senator Portman introduced the Restore Our Parks Act, bipartisan legislation that would help address the nearly $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service (NPS). The bill, which has been praised by key stakeholders, would 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.  Notably, the measure would help tackle the more than $100 million maintenance backlog at Ohio’s eight national park sites.  Specifically, Cuyahoga Valley National Park has more than $45 million in unmet maintenance needs such as building renovations, road, and infrastructure improvements.

“Today I visited one of Ohio’s most important treasures, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and was able to see firsthand the unmet maintenance needs that need urgent attention.  This includes rehabilitating and refurbishing existing structures like the Station Road Bridge that I saw, as well as, stabilizing railroads and trails that we walked today,” said Portman. “Whether biking, fishing, kayaking, or hiking with my family, I’m proud to be one of the 2.7 million visitors to Ohio’s National Parks annually. I’m committed to protecting our parks and that’s why I recently introduced the bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act to help address the nearly $12 billion backlog of long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service.  This includes more than $100 million in deferred maintenance at Ohio’s eight national parks. These parks are national treasures and we must do our part to ensure that these parks can be enjoyed for many generations to come.”

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.  Last year, 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.

Photos from the event are below: