The National Park Service recently published an article that contains more details about how The Great American Outdoors Act will be funded, both the source of funding and a timeline for the release of funds.
According to NPS, the bill signed by President Trump on August 4th enables the use of revenues from energy development to provide up to $1.9 billion a year for five years to provide needed maintenance for critical facilities and infrastructure in our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas, and American Indian schools. It will also use royalties from offshore oil and natural gas to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the tune of $900 million a year to invest in conservation and recreation opportunities across the country. Assuming the programs are fully funded, the new funding amounts to $2.8 billion a year.
It’s a Start
As we have written previously, the total deficit in funding of projects to maintain national parks, national monuments and other endangered lands under supervision by the federal government amounts to approximately $13 billion.
In a strange kind of way this may be better than fully funding the entire shortfall sooner. I have written in recent posts about my concern, as a career program and project manager, that attempting to execute such an immense scope of work across an immense landscape would certainly be hard to manage at best, and prone to waste and inefficiency at worst.
It is with a spoonful of optimism that I look forward to getting my eyes on the list of actual projects undertaken in 2021 and beyond. Let’s all get behind this plan, because after all, it is the plan we have. Recall that we have had no plan at all to catch up with the backlog of maintenance for the past twenty years or longer.
Link to the NPS article referenced above is here.
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Thank you for your interest in saving our wild lands and the animals that call these places home. Stay safe, my friends.
p.s. Take only pictures and leave only footprints!