WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) received the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Champion Award for his National Park Service Centennial Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in December.

“I’m honored to receive this award,” Portman said. “I appreciate the support of the foundation for my efforts to help the National Park Service keep America beautiful, and I believe that this new law will make a big difference. While in recent years the backlog of maintenance projects has grown to $12 billion, I believe that this new law will help bring down that backlog and make the National Park Service’s second century just as successful as its first.”

NOTE: Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has praised the Centennial Act, saying “I’m a strong proponent” of it and calling it “a unique opportunity to leverage” private dollars to help protect and preserve our National Parks.

Specifically, Portman’s legislation:

  •  Establishes the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund within the Treasury to be used for signature projects identified as ones that will help prepare the National Parks for another century of conservation, preservation and enjoyment.
  • Establishes the Second Century Endowment for the National Park System to help attract private donations to help support and enrich the National Park System into its second century and pay for the more than $12 billion backlog in National Park Service projects.

Senator Portman’s legislation was also supported by the National Parks Conservation Association, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Civil War Trust.

Portman received the 2012 NPCA Centennial Award and the 2015 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award for his work to protect our national parks.

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