Phil Francis, Chair of The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, issued the following statement:
“We are celebrating the positive progress of a combined bill that will make an incredible difference to the protection and preservation of our national parks and public lands. As life-long stewards of our national parks, we know what a difference this funding can make on the ground.
We applaud the bipartisan support that Congress has shown for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Permanent and full funding for LWCF is the necessary next step to fulfill this program’s promise to the American people; to preserve nationally significant public lands and provide recreational opportunities in communities across the country.
In addition, addressing the crippling $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog at our national parks is critical to the continued protection and preservation of our treasured natural and cultural resources.
Though we celebrate this recent turn of events, we know that our work is not yet done. We must continue to be strong and vocal advocates for our national parks, and we urge Congress to push hard to advance this bill over the finish line.”
The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks represents over 1,700 current, former, and retired employees and volunteers of the National Park Service, with over 40,000 collective years of stewardship of America’s most precious natural and cultural resources. We are a reliable, respected, and effective advocate for achievement of the mission and goals of the National Park Service. Recognized as the Voices of Experience, the Coalition educates, speaks, and acts for the preservation and protection of the National Park System, and mission-related programs of the National Park Service. More information can be found at https://protectnps.org.