< Back to Current Version

National Park Service Appropriations: Ten-Year Trends

Changes from August 2, 2016 to March 14, 2017

This page shows textual changes in the document between the two versions indicated in the dates above. Textual matter removed in the later version is indicated with red strikethrough and textual matter added in the later version is indicated with blue.


National Park Service: FY2017 Appropriations and Recent and Ten-Year Trends

August 2, 2016March 14, 2017 (R42757)
Jump to Main Text of Report

Contents

Summary

The National Park Service (NPS) receives annual appropriations in the annual Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. For FY2017, the Obama Administration requested $3.101 billion in discretionary appropriations for NPS, an increase of $250.2 million (8.8%)8.8% over the enacted FY2016 amount of $2.851 billion. In addition to the discretionary funding, the Obama Administration proposed $1.238 billion in mandatory appropriations for NPS, a growth of 135.6% over NPS mandatory funding in FY2016 ($525.4 million). Some. Parts of the mandatory appropriationsrequest would require changes in authorizing law. The discretionary and mandatory requests brought the Obama Administration's total request for NPS for FY2017 to $4.339 billion, ana requested increase of $962.5 million (or 28.5%)28.5% over the FY2016 total of $3.376 billion. . NPS stated that much of the increased funding would be used to address the agency's backlog of deferred maintenance, in connection with NPS's 2016 centennial anniversary this year and its expected future infrastructure needs.

On July 14, 2016, the House The agency's maintenance backlog was estimated at $11.927 billion for FY2015. The backlog has grown as NPS assets—many constructed in the early to mid-20th century—age and deteriorate and needed maintenance and repairs are not performed. NPS's maintenance and repair needs are of concern to the 115th Congress both within and outside of the annual appropriations process, as Congress considers the NPS backlog in the context of addressing the nation's infrastructure investments more broadly. The 114th Congress did not enact full-year Interior appropriations for FY2017. Continuing funds were provided through April 28, 2017, by two continuing resolutions (CRs; P.L. 114-223 and P.L. 114-254). The CRs generally provide funding at the FY2016 level, minus an across-the-board reduction of less than 1%. Earlier, on July 14, 2016, the House had passed H.R. 5538, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017. The House bill recommended discretionary appropriations of $2.930 billion for NPS, an increase of $78.8 million (2.8%) over the FY2016 enacted amount but a decrease of $171.4 million from the agencyless than the Obama Administration's request. request.

On June 16, 2016, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported its version of the bill, S. 3068. The Senate committee bill recommended $2.914 billion in discretionary funds for NPS, an increase of $62.7 million (2.2%) over the FY2016 appropriation and a decrease of $187.5 million from theless than the Obama Administration's NPS request.

This report discusses NPS's FY2017 appropriations and examines trends in the agency's discretionary appropriations over the past decade (FY2007-FY2016). Although NPS appropriations variedfluctuated during that time period and increased overall, the overall trend was a growth in real terms. The enacted discretionary appropriation for FY2016 represented an increase of 24.0% in nominal dollars and 7.5% in inflation-adjusted dollars compared with a decade earlier (FY2007).

For most of this time, the NPS discretionary appropriation included five accounts. The largest by far is the Operation of the National Park System (ONPS) account, which supports the activities, programs, and services that form the day-to-day operations of the park system. The majority of ONPS funds are provided directly to managers of individual park units. This account grew over the decade by 11.6% in inflation-adjusted dollars. Another account, for federal and state land acquisition funding under the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), grew by 135.3% in inflation-adjusted dollars. The other three accounts showed declines over the decade ranging from 8.4% to 43.7% in inflation-adjusted dollars. A sixth account, the Centennial Challenge account,NPS's discretionary appropriations were organized in five accounts. Two accounts grew over the decade, including the agency's largest account, which funds basic park operations, and an account that funds both federal land acquisition and outdoor recreation assistance to states. Three other accounts, including the account that funds construction and major repairs, showed declines over the decade. A sixth account was funded only in certain years.

The funding changes took place in the context of relative stability in the size of the National Park System, which grew slightly (by 0.4%) from 84.3 million to 84.67 million acres over the past 10 years. NPSThe agency's staffing levels fluctuated around 20,000 and grew overall. Visits to the parks also increased over the decade, peaking at approximately 307331 million visits in 2015.

2016.
National Park Service: FY2017 Appropriations and Recent and Ten-Year Trends

The National Park Service (NPS) administers the National Park System, which covers 84.67 million acres of land and consists of 412417 diverse units valued for their natural, cultural, and recreational importance. NPS receives appropriations in the annual Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. This report discusses NPS appropriations for FY2017 and examines trends in the agency's discretionary appropriations over the past decade (FY2007-FY2016). It also discusses changes in the size of the National Park System, numbers of recreation visits to the parks, and NPS staffing levels during that period.

FY2017 Appropriations for NPS

For FY2017, the Obama Administration requested $3.101 billion in discretionary appropriations for NPS, an increase of $250.2 million (8.8%) over the enacted FY2016 amount of $2.851 billion (see Table 1).1 In addition to the discretionary funding, the Administration proposed $1.238 billion in mandatory appropriations for NPS, a growth of 135.6% over NPS mandatory funding in FY2016 ($525.4 million; see text box below). SomeParts of the mandatory appropriationsrequest would require changes in authorizing law. The discretionary and mandatory requests brought the Administration's total request for NPS for FY2017 to $4.339 billion, ana proposed increase of $962.5 million (or 28.5%) over the FY2016 total of $3.376 billion. NPS stated that much of the increased funding would be used to address the agency's backlog of deferred maintenance, in connection with NPS's 2016 centennial anniversary this year and its expected future infrastructure needs.2

On July 14, 2016, the House The agency's maintenance backlog was estimated at $11.927 billion for FY2015 (the most recent NPS estimate available).3 The backlog has grown as NPS assets—many constructed in the early to mid-20th century—age and deteriorate and needed maintenance and repairs are not performed. NPS's maintenance and repair needs are of concern to the 115th Congress both within and outside the annual appropriations process, as Congress considers the NPS backlog in the context of addressing the nation's infrastructure investments more broadly.

The 114th Congress did not enact full-year Interior appropriations for FY2017. Continuing funds were provided through April 28, 2017, under two continuing resolutions (CRs; P.L. 114-223 and P.L. 114-254). The CRs generally provide funding at the FY2016 level, minus an across-the-board reduction of less than 1%. The 115th Congress is faced with addressing NPS appropriations for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Earlier, on July 14, 2016, the House had passed H.R. 5538, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017. The House bill recommended discretionary appropriations of $2.930 billion for NPS, an increase of $78.8 million (2.8%) over the FY2016 enacted amount but a decrease of $171.4 million from the agencyless than the Obama Administration's request. request.

On June 16, 2016, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported its version of the bill, S. 3068. The Senate committee bill recommended discretionary appropriations of $2.914 billion for NPS, an increase of $62.7 million (2.2%) over the FY2016 appropriation and a decrease of $187.5 million from the NPSless than the Obama Administration's request.

Table 1. FY2017 Discretionary Appropriations for the National Park Service (NPS)

($ in millions)

Account

FY2016 Enacted

FY2017 Request

House-Passed FY2017 Bill
(H.R. 5538)

Change from FY2016

Senate Committee FY2017 Bill
(S. 3068)

Change from FY2016

 

 

 

 

$

%

 

$

%

Operation of the National Park System

2,369.6

2,524.4

2,437.5

+68.0

+2.9%

2,405.6

+36.0

+1.5%

Resource Stewardship

328.0a

340.4

329.1

+1.0a

+0.3%

328.1

+<0.1

+<0.1%

Visitor Services

251.3a

276.2

258.5

+7.2a

+2.9%

251.3

Park Protection

355.5a

362.1

358.7

+3.1a

+0.9%

355.5

Facility Operations & Maintenance

738.5a

842.5

792.7

+54.2a

+7.3%

763.5

+25.0

+3.4%

Park Support

515.6a

522.5

518.0

+2.3a

+0.4%

526.6

+11.0

+2.1%

External Administrative Costs

180.6

180.7

180.6

180.6

National Recreation and Preservation

62.6

54.4

62.6

62.6

+<0.1

+<0.1%

Heritage Partnership Programs

19.8

9.4

19.8

19.8

Other

42.8

44.9

42.8

42.8

+<0.1

+<0.1%

Historic Preservation Fund

65.4

87.4

83.4

+18.0

+27.5%

67.9

+2.5

+3.8%

Construction

192.9

252.0

215.7

+22.8

+11.8%

217.3

+24.3

+12.6%

Land and Water Conservation Fundb

-28.0

-30.0

-28.0

-28.0

Land Acquisition and State Assistance

173.7

178.2

128.8

-44.9

-25.9%

168.4

-5.2

-3.0%

Assistance to States

110.0

110.0

80.0

-30.0

-27.3%

110.0

-<0.1

-<0.1%

NPS Acquisition

63.7

68.2

48.8

-14.9

-23.4%

58.4

-5.3

-8.2%

Centennial Challenge

15.0

35.0

30.0

+15.0

+100.0%

20.0

+5.0

+33.3%

Total Appropriations

2,851.2

3,101.5

2,930.0

+78.8

+2.8%

2,913.9

+62.7

+2.2%

Sources: House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for the National Park Service; U.S. Congress, House Appropriations Committee, Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2017, report to accompany H.R. 5538, 114th Cong., 2nd sess., H.Rept. 114-632 (Washington, DC: GPO, 2016); U.S. Congress, Senate Appropriations Committee, Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2017, report to accompany S. 3068, 114th Cong., 2nd sess., S.Rept. 114-281 (Washington, DC: GPO, 2016); P.L. 114-113, Division G, Explanatory Statement, Congressional Record, December 17, 2015, p. H10215.

Notes:

a. Figures reflect a budget realignment by NPS of enacted FY2016 appropriations and may differ from amounts reported in the explanatory statement for P.L. 114-113 and in H.Rept. 114-632. For more information, see National Park Service (NPS), Budget Justifications and Performance Information, Fiscal Year 20172017, p. SpecEx-1, at https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY17-NPS-Greenbook-for-website.pdf.

b. Figures reflect a rescission of contract authority.

Mandatory Appropriations in NPS's FY2017 Budget Request

Most of the National Park Service's (NPS's) funding comes from discretionary appropriations, which are controlled by annual appropriations acts. However, NPS also receives mandatory appropriations under laws enacted by the authorizing committees, which allow the agency to spend money without further action by Congress. NPS's mandatory appropriations include recreation fees, concession franchise fees, receipts from leasing, and direct cash donations, among others.

In its FY2017 NPS budget request, as in previous requests, NPS seeksthe Obama Administration sought changes in law that would significantly increase the mandatory spending available to the agency. In particular, NPS asksthe Administration asked Congress to establish the following:

  • a mandatory Centennial Challenge matching-grant fund to spur partner donations for park improvement projects, with $100 million per year for three years;
  • a Second Century Infrastructure Investment fund to address deferred maintenance needs, with $300 million per year for three years;
  • an NPS Second Century Fund, which would provide authority for NPS to collect additional camping and lodging fees and raise the price of senior citizen passes to fund projects and programs in support of the NPS mission; and
  • permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), with mandatory spending of $111.2 million for NPS in FY2017, along with a further $30 million for Urban Park Rehabilitation and Recovery Grants.

Along with existing programs, these new proposals bringbrought NPS's mandatory request for FY2017 to $1.238 billion, more than twice the level of mandatory funding in recent years. Much of the request wouldwas to address the agency's backlog of deferred maintenance, estimated at $11.93927 billion for FY2015 (the most recent NPS estimate available). In its budget request, NPS statesstated that the requested mandatory and discretionary funding, taken together, would allow for meaningful reinvestment in NPS infrastructure, enabling the agency to "ensure that all of its highest priority non-transportation park assets are restored and maintained in good condition over ten years."

New mandatory spending would be subject to certain budget -enforcement requirements, including the potential need to offset such spending. These requirements representrepresented a hurdle for NPSthe Obama Administration's mandatory proposals. In the 114th Congress, H.R. 3556 and S. 2257 would implementhave implemented many of NPS's requested changes. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on S. 2257 on December 8, 2015. Other legislation would establish one or more of the requested funds but with different funding provisions. For example, House-reported H.R. 4680 would establish an NPS Centennial Challenge Fund, with the federal portion of the funding coming from a price increase for senior passes to the parks. Senate-passed S. 2012 would establish an NPS Centennial Challenge Fund with up to $17.5 million in federal funding, available only if appropriatedthe Obama Administration's requested changes, but neither bill was enacted. The 114th Congress enacted P.L. 114-289, which established the NPS Centennial Challenge Fund with different funding provisions than in the NPS proposal. The law provided for a price increase for senior passes to the parks, with a portion of the additional revenues directed to the Centennial Challenge Fund. This funding was provided as offsetting collections to annual appropriations. Deferred maintenance projects are a prioritized use of the funds.

Sources: NPS, Budget Justifications and Performance Information, Fiscal Year 2017, at http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY17-NPS-Greenbook-for-website.pdf; and H.R. 3556, S. 2257, H.R. 4680, and S. 2012P.L. 114-289, H.R. 3556 (114th Cong.), and S. 2257 (114th Cong.).

Trends in NPS Discretionary Appropriations

The sections below examine trends over the past decade (FY2007-FY2016) in NPS discretionary appropriations. The agency's discretionary appropriations rose and fell over the decade. Overall, NPS discretionary appropriations grew from $2.300 billion in FY2007 to $2.851 billion in FY2016, an increase of 24.0% in actual (nominal) dollars and 7.5% in inflation-adjusted dollars (see Table 2 and Figure 1).34 A spike in appropriations occurred in FY2009, when economic stimulus measures were enacted in P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The agency's appropriations also rose in FY2013, reflecting supplemental funding for response to Hurricane Sandy (which heavily damaged parks on the East Coast), and again in FY2016, in connection with the NPS centennial anniversary. Certain other years saw decreases in NPS appropriations.

Table 2. NPS Discretionary Appropriations, FY2007-FY2016

($ billions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars)

 

Appropriation in Nominal $

Appropriation in Inflation-Adjusted 2007 $

% Change Since Previous Year

 

 

 

Nominal

Inflation-Adjusted

FY2007

2.300

2.300

FY2008

2.390

2.342

+3.9%

+1.8%

FY2009

3.276

3.172

+37.0%

+35.5%

FY2010

2.744

2.634

-16.2%

-17.0%

FY2011

2.611

2.457

-4.8%

-6.7%

FY2012

2.580

2.383

-1.2%

-3.0%

FY2013

2.775

2.521

+7.6%

+5.8%

FY2014

2.562

2.288

-7.7%

-9.2%

FY2015

2.615

2.304

+2.1%

+0.7%

FY2016

2.851

2.473

+9.1%

+7.4%

Total Change

+0.551

+0.173

+24.0%

+7.5%

Source: Annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Percentage calculations by CRS.

Notes: These figures exclude permanent budget authorities and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. They generally reflect rescissions and supplemental appropriations to date, including FY2009 funds from P.L. 111-5 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and FY2013 funds from P.L. 113-2 in response to Hurricane Sandy. Figures for FY2013 reflect the President's March 2013 budget sequestration and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2%. Adjustments for inflation (shown in 2007 dollars) use the GDP Chained Price Index from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 10.1, "Gross Domestic Product and Deflators Used in the Historical Tables—1940-2021," at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals.

For most of the decade, NPS appropriations were spread across five accounts that cover basic park operations (Operation of the National Park System, or ONPS, account); construction and repair of infrastructure (Construction account); assistance to state, local, tribal, and private land managers (National Recreation and Preservation account); grants to states and localities for historic preservation (Historic Preservation Fund); and land acquisition by both NPS and the states (Land Acquisition and State Assistance account).45 By far the largest share of NPS's discretionary appropriations—83.1% in FY2016—went to the ONPS account, which covers basic park operations (see Table 1 and Figure 2).

Figure 1. NPS Appropriations, FY2007-FY2016

($ billions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars)

Source: Annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: These figures exclude permanent budget authorities and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. They generally reflect rescissions and supplemental appropriations, including FY2009 funds from P.L. 111-5 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and FY2013 funds from P.L. 113-2 in response to Hurricane Sandy. Figures for FY2013 reflect the President's March 2013 budget sequestration and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2%. Adjustments for inflation (shown in 2007 dollars) use the GDP Chained Price Index from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 10.1, "Gross Domestic Product and Deflators Used in the Historical Tables—1940-2021," at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals.

Figure 2. NPS's FY2016 Discretionary Appropriations by Account

Source: P.L. 114-113, Division G, Explanatory Statement, Congressional Record, December 17, 2015, p. H10215.

Notes: ONPS = Operation of the National Park Service; NR&P = National Recreation and Preservation; HPF = Historic Preservation Fund; LASA = Land Acquisition and State Assistance. These data exclude permanent budget authorities and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. The figure for the total appropriation reflects a rescission of $28 million in Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) contract authority, which is not shown in the chart.

Table 3. NPS Appropriations by Account, FY2007-FY2016

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars)

 

ONPS

Construction

NR&P

HPF

LASA

CC

Totala

FY2007

1,848.421

297.482

59.295

60.737

64.024

2,299.959

FY2008
Inflation-
Adjusted

1,970.581
1,930.707

218.522
214.079

67.413
66.042

70.385
68.954

68.977
67.574

24.610
24.110

2,390.488
2,341.880

FY2009
Inflation-Adjusted

2,277.755
2,205.778

821.521
795.561

58.384
56.539

83.984
81.330

64.190
62.162

3,275.834
3,172.318

FY2010
Inflation-
Adjusted

2,261.559
2,171.204

232.969
223.639

68.436
65.695

79.500
76.316

126.266
121.209

5.000b
4.800

2,743.730
2,633.850

FY2011
Inflation-
Adjusted

2,250.050
2,118.775

184.646
173.721

57.245
53.858

54.391
51.173

94.810
89.200

2,611.142
2,456.650

FY2012
Inflation-Adjusted

2,236.568
2,069.851

155.366
143.552

59.879
55.326

55.910
51.658

101.897
94.149

2,579.620
2,383.460

FY2013
Inflation-Adjusted

2,097.261
1,907.747

453.885
412.290

56.747
51.547

100.486
91.277

96.567
87.717

2,774.946
2,520.643

FY2014
Inflation-Adjusted

2,236.753
2,004.137

137.461
122.768

60.795
54.297

56.410
50.380

98.100
87.614

2,561.519
2,287.720

FY2015
Inflation-Adjusted

2,275.773
2,011.921

138.339
121.899

63.117
55.616

56.410
49.707

98.960
87.200

10.000
8.812

2,614.599
2,303.892

FY2016
Inflation-Adjusted

2,369.596
2,062.111

192.937
167.360

62.632
54.329

65.410
56.739

173.670
150.647

15.000
13.011

2,851.245
2,473.258

Source: Annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: ONPS = Operation of the National Park System account; NR&P = National Recreation and Preservation account; HPF = Historic Preservation Fund account; LASA = Land Acquisition and State Assistance account; CC = Centennial Challenge account.

These figures exclude permanent budget authorities and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. They generally reflect rescissions and supplemental appropriations to date, including FY2009 funds from P.L. 111-5 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and FY2013 funds from P.L. 113-2 in response to Hurricane Sandy. Figures for FY2013 reflect the President's March 2013 budget sequestration and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2%. Adjustments for inflation (shown in 2007 dollars) use the GDP Chained Price Index from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 10.1, "Gross Domestic Product and Deflators Used in the Historical Tables—1940-2021," at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals.

a. Totals reflect annual rescissions for LWCF contract authority of $30.0 million for FY2005-FY2013 and $28.0 million for FY2014-FY2016. Because these rescissions are not included in the amounts for individual accounts, the figures for the individual accounts do not add up to the totals shown.

b. For FY2010, the Centennial Challenge account was titled Park Partnership Project Grants.

In addition to these five accounts, during four years of the past decade (FY2008, FY2010, FY2015, and FY2016), Congress appropriated funds for a sixth account, the Centennial Challenge account.56 The account consists of a matching-grant program to spur partner donations for park improvements related to the National Park System's 100th anniversary in 2016. The program received $24.6 million in FY2008, $5.0 million in FY2010 (as well as $10.0 million in carryover balances from NPS's recreational fee program), $10.0 million in FY2015, and $15.0 million in FY2016. In addition to discretionary funding, both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations sought additional mandatory appropriations of up to $100 million annually for the Centennial Challenge account, but Congress has not established the mandatory fund. Some legislation in the 114th Congress would provide mandatory appropriations for the Centennial Challenge fund (see text box above)Separately, in P.L. 114-289 of December 2016, Congress authorized the Centennial Challenge Fund to receive federal revenues from certain sales of National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes to seniors. The senior pass revenues are provided as offsetting collections.7 As with the discretionary appropriations to the fund, the senior pass revenues are to be matched on at least a one-to-one basis by nonfederal donations. This report reflects discretionary appropriations for the Centennial Challenge account in Table 3, but because the appropriations have occurred only in certain years, trends over time for this account are not discussed in the following sections.

Several additional accounts existed for a limited time during the past decade and were either defunded or folded into other accounts. In the discussions below, calculations are adjusted to reflect the separation or merger of accounts.68 Below the account level, funding for some individual programs, projects, or activities also shifted between accounts during the 10-year period. This report may not reflect some of the smaller such realignments that occurred throughout the decade.7

9

Operation of the National Park System Account

Appropriations for the largest NPS account, entitled Operation of the National Park System (ONPS), increased over the decade, rising from $1.848 billion in FY2007 to $2.370 billion in FY2016 (see Table 3 and Figure 3). When adjusted for inflation, this represents a growth of 11.6%. The funding supports the activities, programs, and services that form the day-to-day operations of the National Park System. Funding for these park operations grew not only in dollar amount but also as a percentage of total NPS appropriations, increasing from 80.4% of total funding in FY2007 to 83.1% in FY2016.

The majority of ONPS funds are provided directly to managers of individual park units. Activities covered under the account include visitor services, resource stewardship, park protection (including the U.S. Park Police),810 facility operations and maintenance, and park support,911 as well as "external administrative costs" for services provided by outside entities.1012 Among these activities, the two showing the greatest percentage growth over the decade were park support, which grew by 42.1% in inflation-adjusted dollars, and external administrative costs, which grew by 16.0% in inflation-adjusted dollars but remained the smallest activity in terms of funding.11

13

Figure 3. Appropriations for NPS's Operation of the National Park System (ONPS) Account, FY2007-FY2016

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars)

Source: Annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: These figures exclude permanent budget authorities and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. They generally reflect rescissions and supplemental appropriations to date, including FY2009 funds from P.L. 111-5 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and FY2013 funds from P.L. 113-2 in response to Hurricane Sandy. Figures for FY2013 reflect the President's March 2013 budget sequestration and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2%. Adjustments for inflation (shown in 2007 dollars) use the GDP Chained Price Index from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 10.1, "Gross Domestic Product and Deflators Used in the Historical Tables—1940-2021," at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals.

For FY2007, the U.S. Park Police account is included in the ONPS totals to facilitate comparison with subsequent years, in which the Park Police appropriation was merged into the ONPS appropriation.

Construction Account

The second-largest NPS account, titled Construction, funds new construction projects as well as repairs and improvements to existing facilities, among other activities. Appropriations for the account at the beginning of the decade ($297.5 million in FY2007) were higher than those at the end of the decade ($192.9 million in FY2016; see Figure 4 and Table 3). Adjusting dollar amounts for inflation, this constitutes a decline of 43.7%. Construction appropriations accordingly represent a smaller portion of total NPS appropriations in FY2016 (6.8%) than they did in FY2007 (12.9%). However, this overall decline was tempered by two spikes in funding for the Construction account—one in FY2009, resulting from emergency appropriations in P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the other in FY2013, resulting from the Hurricane Sandy supplemental appropriation in P.L. 113-2.

Figure 4. Appropriations for NPS's Construction Account, FY2007-FY2016

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars)

Source: Annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: These figures exclude permanent budget authorities, and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. They generally reflect rescissions and supplemental appropriations to date, including FY2009 funds from P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and FY2013 funds from P.L. 113-2 in response to Hurricane Sandy. Figures for FY2013 reflect the President's March 2013 budget sequestration and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2%. Adjustments for inflation (shown in 2007 dollars) use the GDP Chained Price Index from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 10.1, "Gross Domestic Product and Deflators Used in the Historical Tables—1940–2019," at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/HistoricalsNPS Infrastructure: Funding for Deferred Maintenance

NPS's substantial backlog of deferred maintenance—infrastructure maintenance and repairs that were not performed as scheduled or as needed—has been an ongoing concern for Congress. The 115th Congress is considering NPS's infrastructure needs both within and outside the annual appropriations process, in the context of addressing the nation's infrastructure investments more broadly.

Despite the agency's efforts to reduce deferred maintenance through improved inventory and asset management, the NPS maintenance backlog has grown as agency assets—many constructed in the early to mid-20th century—age and deteriorate and needed maintenance and repairs are not performed. The backlog grew over the past decade from an estimated mid-range figure of $9.61 billion in FY2007 to an estimated $11.927 billion (in nominal dollars) in FY2015, the most recent year for which NPS estimates are available. The bulk of NPS deferred maintenance—52% in FY2015—is in transportation assets such as roads, bridges, and tunnels.

Although discretionary appropriations provide a significant portion of the agency's funding to address deferred maintenance, such funding also comes from other sources. For example, road and bridge improvements are largely funded by allocations from the Department of Transportation. Funding to address deferred maintenance also may come through mandatory appropriations, such as fee collections.

Within NPS's discretionary appropriations, two subaccounts provide the primary funding to address deferred maintenance: the line-item construction and maintenance activity within the Construction account and the facility operation and maintenance activity within the Operation of the National Park Service account. Appropriations for line-item construction declined over the decade (-44.2% in inflation-adjusted dollars), whereas facility operation and maintenance appropriations increased (+6.4% in inflation-adjusted dollars).

For more information on NPS deferred maintenance, see National Park Service, "Planning, Design, and Construction Management: NPS Deferred Maintenance Reports," at http://www.nps.gov/subjects/plandesignconstruct/defermain.htm; NPS, Budget Justifications and Performance Information, Fiscal Year 2017, "Federal Lands Transportation Program," p. Const-79, at http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY17-NPS-Greenbook-for-website.pdf; and CRS Report R43997, Deferred Maintenance of Federal Land Management Agencies: FY2005-FY2014 Estimates, by [author name scrubbed].

Among the specific activities funded in the Construction account, the largest is line-item construction and maintenance, which covers construction of new facilities and rehabilitation and replacement of existing facilities. In recent years, NPS has planned no new facility construction, in order to prioritize deferred maintenance. Projects are prioritized based on their contribution to NPS mission factors and cost-benefit considerations.1214 Funding for the line-item activity mainly declined over the decade, although it rose in FY2016. As discussed above, the overall decline was also mitigated by P.L. 111-5 stimulus funds in FY2009 and by the Hurricane Sandy supplemental in FY2013. (The portion of funding directed to the line-item subactivity in particular is not readily available for either of these appropriations.) Other activities funded in the Construction account include emergency and unscheduled construction, repair and replacement of employee housing, dam safety, equipment replacement, construction planning and program management, development of general management plans for park units, and preparation of special studies of areas (for instance, to assess their potential for inclusion in the National Park System).

NPS Funding for Deferred Maintenance

Despite NPS's efforts to address deferred maintenance through improved inventory and asset management, the agency's maintenance backlog has continued to build over the past decade from an estimated mid-range figure of $9.61 billion in FY2007 to an estimate of $11.93 billion for FY2015 (in nominal dollars). The bulk of NPS deferred maintenance—52% in FY2015—is in transportation assets such as roads, bridges, and tunnels.

Although NPS's discretionary appropriations provide a significant portion of the agency's funding to address deferred maintenance, such funding also comes from other sources. For example, road and bridge improvements are largely funded by allocations from the Department of Transportation. Funding to address deferred maintenance may also come through mandatory appropriations, such as fee collections.

Within NPS's discretionary appropriations, two subaccounts provide the primary funding to address deferred maintenance: the line-item construction and maintenance activity within the Construction account and the facility operation and maintenance activity within the Operation of the National Park Service account. Appropriations for line-item construction declined over the decade (-44.2% in inflation-adjusted dollars), whereas facility operation and maintenance appropriations increased (+6.4% in inflation-adjusted dollars).

For more information on NPS deferred maintenance, see National Park Service, "Planning, Design, and Construction Management: NPS Deferred Maintenance Reports," at http://www.nps.gov/subjects/plandesignconstruct/defermain.htm; NPS, Budget Justifications and Performance Information, Fiscal Year 2017, "Federal Lands Transportation Program," p. Const-79, at http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY17-NPS-Greenbook-for-website.pdf; and CRS Report R43997, Deferred Maintenance of Federal Land Management Agencies: FY2005-FY2014 Estimates, by [author name scrubbed]Figure 4. Appropriations for NPS's Construction Account, FY2007-FY2016

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars)

Source: Annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: These figures exclude permanent budget authorities, and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. They generally reflect rescissions and supplemental appropriations to date, including FY2009 funds from P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and FY2013 funds from P.L. 113-2 in response to Hurricane Sandy. Figures for FY2013 reflect the President's March 2013 budget sequestration and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2%. Adjustments for inflation (shown in 2007 dollars) use the GDP Chained Price Index from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 10.1, "Gross Domestic Product and Deflators Used in the Historical Tables—1940–2019," at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals.

National Recreation and Preservation Account

The National Recreation and Preservation (NR&P) account funds NPS programs that primarily assist state, local, tribal, and private land managers with outdoor recreation planning, natural and cultural resource preservation, environmental compliance, and other activities outside the National Park System. Appropriations for the account fluctuated over the decade and rose overall in nominal dollars, from $59.3 million in FY2007 to $62.6 million in FY2016.1315 Adjusted for inflation, however, the appropriation declined by 8.4% (Figure 5 and Table 3). The portion of total NPS funding used for the NR&P account also declined—from 2.6% in FY2007 to 2.2% in FY2016.

A variety of natural, cultural, and recreational assistance programs are funded in the NR&P account. The Heritage Partnership Program, which provides NPS assistance to national heritage areas, is the largest single program contained in the account.1416 Its appropriations grew over the decade,1517 despite Administration budget requests in recent years to reduce the heritage area appropriation by roughly half. The number of heritage areas also increased during the decade from 36 to 49. In addition, the NR&P account has included such programs as the American Battlefield Protection Program; the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program; the National Natural Landmarks and National Historic Landmarks Programs; the Natural Register of Historic Places; and the Preserve America Program. The account further covers international park affairs, environmental and compliance review, and grants administration.

Figure 5. Appropriations for NPS's National Recreation and Preservation (NR&P) Account, FY2007-FY2016

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars)

Source: Annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: These figures exclude permanent budget authorities and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. They generally reflect rescissions and supplemental appropriations to date, including FY2009 funds from P.L. 111-5 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and FY2013 funds from P.L. 113-2 in response to Hurricane Sandy. Figures for FY2013 reflect the President's March 2013 budget sequestration and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2%. Adjustments for inflation (shown in 2007 dollars) use the GDP Chained Price Index from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 10.1, "Gross Domestic Product and Deflators Used in the Historical Tables—1940-2021," at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals. For FY2007, appropriations for the Preserve America program are included in the NR&P totals, because this program was later funded in the NR&P account.

Historic Preservation Fund

The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), established in 1976,1618 is administered by NPS through appropriations to the agency's HPF account. In accordance with the purposes of the National Historic Preservation Act (P.L. 89-665; 54 U.S.C. §§300101 et seq.), the fund provides grants-in-aid to state and local governments and private entities for conserving cultural and historical assets and sites. Its grants are normally awarded on a 60% federal/40% state matching share basis. The HPF has beenis funded by revenues from oil and gas activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. This funding authorization expired on September 30, 2015, although a balance of more than $3 billion remains in the fund and is available for appropriation.17

outer continental shelf. Funding was reauthorized through FY2023 in P.L. 114-289.

Appropriations for the HPF account varied during the decade and grew overall in nominal dollars—from $60.7 million in FY20071819 to $65.4 million in FY2016. Adjusted for inflation, however, the appropriation declined by 6.6% (see Figure 6 and Table 3). The account represented 2.6% of the total NPS appropriation in FY2007 and 2.3% in FY2016. HPF appropriations were highest in FY2013, as a result of the supplemental appropriation in response to Hurricane Sandy (P.L. 113-2), which added $47.5 million (after sequestration) to the account's regular FY2013 appropriation of $53.0 million.

Figure 6. Appropriations for NPS's Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) Account,
FY2007-FY2016

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars)

Source: Annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: These figures exclude permanent budget authorities and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. They generally reflect rescissions and supplemental appropriations to date, including FY2009 funds from P.L. 111-5 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and FY2013 funds from P.L. 113-2 in response to Hurricane Sandy. Figures for FY2013 reflect the President's March 2013 budget sequestration and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2%. Adjustments for inflation (shown in 2007 dollars) use the GDP Chained Price Index from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 10.1, "Gross Domestic Product and Deflators Used in the Historical Tables—1940-2021," at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals.

The amount for FY2007 does not include appropriations for the Preserve America program. These appropriations are instead counted with the NR&P account to facilitate comparisons with later years when the program was funded through that account.

The largest activity in the account is funding for state historic preservation offices, which rose from $37.2 million in FY2007 to $46.9 million in FY2016. Adjusted for inflation, this represents a gain of 9.4%. Tribal grants also rose from $5.4 million to $10.0 million, a growth of 59.0% after adjusting for inflation. Other program funding declined or ended during the decade. For example, the Save America's Treasures program, which helped to restore nationally significant historic structures and artifacts, was funded in varying amounts from FY2006 through FY2010, but its appropriations were eliminated in FY2011, contributing to a funding decline in that year for the overall HPF account (Figure 6).1920 The account also contained appropriations for grants to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) until FY2007,2021 after which these institutions were encouraged to seek restoration grants through the Save America's Treasures program.2122 For FY2017, NPS requested that grants to HBCUs again be funded from the HPF account,2223 and both the Senate-reported and House-passed appropriations bills contain the requested funding.

Land Acquisition and State Assistance

The Land Acquisition and State Assistance (LASA) account represents NPS's share of appropriations from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF; 54 U.S.C. §§200301 et seq.). The LWCF is the primary funding source for land acquisition for the four major federal land management agencies—NPS, the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service—to acquire lands.23.24 In addition, the LWCF supports grants to states (and, through states, to localities) for outdoor recreation purposes, specifically to develop plans for outdoor recreation needs and to acquire and develop park areas. These 50/50 matching grants, administered by NPS, are generally allocated to states by formula. In recent years, a portion of the funding ($12.0 million for FY2016, out of a total of $110.0 million for state assistance) also has been appropriated for a nationally competitive grant program. Overall, the LWCF is authorized at $900 million annually, but at no point in the past decade was this "full funding" appropriated.

Appropriations for the LASA account—comprising the NPS and state assistance portions of the LWCF—varied over the course ofduring the decade and rose overall (see Figure 7 and Table 3). The appropriation rose from $64.0 million in FY2007 to $173.7 million in FY2016. Adjusted for inflation, this is a growth of 135.3%. The growth is partly attributable to a significant increase in appropriations for state land acquisition in FY2016 as compared with earlier years. Altogether, the LASA account represented 2.8% of the total NPS appropriation in FY2007 and 6.1% in FY2016.

Both parts of the account—the fundingfunds for NPS land acquisition and that for assistance to states—fluctuated during the decade but grew overall. State assistance was less than $30 million annually for FY2007-FY2009, rose to roughly $40 million-$50 million annually for FY2010-FY2015, and more than doubled to $110 million for FY2016. For land acquisition by NPS, annual funding ranged between $30 million and $65 million, except in FY2010, when it rose to $86 million.

Figure 7. Appropriations for NPS's Land Acquisition and State Assistance (LASA) Account, FY2007-FY2016

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars)

Source: Annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: These figures exclude permanent budget authorities and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. They generally reflect rescissions and supplemental appropriations to date, including FY2009 funds from P.L. 111-5 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and FY2013 funds from P.L. 113-2 in response to Hurricane Sandy. Figures for FY2013 reflect the President's March 2013 budget sequestration and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2%. Adjustments for inflation (shown in 2007 dollars) use the GDP Chained Price Index from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 10.1, "Gross Domestic Product and Deflators Used in the Historical Tables—1940-2021," at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals.

NPS Appropriations in Context

Changes in NPS appropriations can be considered in the context of the National Park System's size, the number of visits to the parks, and NPS staffing levels, among other factors. Over the past decade, the size of the National Park System has remained relatively stable, growing by 0.35%. Visitation peaked in 20152016 and was generally higher in the second part of the decade than the first. (However, in 2013 visitor numbers dropped, due partly to park closures after Hurricane Sandy and the October 2013 government shutdown.) Staffing levels fluctuated around 20,000 during the past 10 years.

Size of the National Park System

The size of the National Park System rose slightly over the decade, from 84.3 million acres to 84.67 million acres, a growth of 0.45%. (See Figure 8 and Table 4.) The percentage of National Park System lands owned by the federal government2425 grew from 93.5% in FY2007 to 95.3% in FY2016 (as of July 29, 2016). The remainder—the nonfederal land in the system—includes lands within park boundaries that are owned by state or local governments and by private landowners. Even when the overall size of the system remains stable, the federal share of park lands may increase if, for example, the federal government purchases "inholdings" within parks from nonfederal owners..

Figure 8. Size of the National Park System, FY2007-FY2016

(in millions of acres, through July 29, 2016)

Source: NPS Land Resources Division, annual summaries of acreage, available on NPS Stats web page at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/National.

Notes: Federal Land category includes NPS Fee Acres, Less Than Fee Acres, and Other Federal Fee Acres. Nonfederal Land category includes Other Public Acres and Private Acres.

Table 4. Size of the National Park System, FY2007-FY2016

(in millions of acres, through July 29, 2016)

 

Federal Land

Nonfederal Land

Total Acreage

FY2007

78.846

5.477

84.322

FY2008

78.855

5.476

84.331

FY2009

80.438

3.938

84.375

FY2010

80.518

3.863

84.381

FY2011

80.485

3.900

84.385

FY2012

80.384

4.039

84.423

FY2013

80.473

4.007

84.479

FY2014

80.466

4.012

84.478

FY2015

80.598

4.021

84.616

FY2016
(through July)

80.629

4.019

84.648

736

Source: NPS, Land Resources Division, annual summaries of acreage, available on NPS Stats web page at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/National; and personal communication with NPS Lands Office, July 29, 2016.

Notes: Federal Land category includes NPS Fee Acres, Less Than Fee Acres, and Other Federal Fee Acres. Nonfederal Land category includes Other Public Acres and Private Acres.

Although the overall size of the National Park System did not change significantly, 2223 new units were added to the system in the FY2007-FY2016 period (to date).25.26 Many of the added sites were relatively small in acreage, such as the Stonewall National Monument in New York (0.12 acres) and the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument in Washington, DC (0.34 acres), which each consist of a single building. The largest units added to the system during the decade were the Valles Caldera National Preserve (89,000 acres) and the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine (87,563 acres). Other acreage changes resulted from boundary adjustments in existing parks.

Visits to the National Parks

Numbers of recreational visits to the National Park System varied over the past 10 years but were generally higher toward the end of the decade. The highest numbers of visits were in 2014 (292.82015 (307.2 million visits) and 2015 (307.22016 (331.0 million visits; see Figure 9 and Table 5). Visits at the end of the decade were 11.520.1% higher than at the beginning.26 However, visitor numbers dipped in 2013, due in part to Hurricane Sandy, which forced closures at East Coast park units,27 and to the federal government shutdown of October 2013.28

Table 5. Annual Recreational Visits to the National Park System, 2007-2016

(total visits by calendar year, through June 2016)

Year

Number of Visits
(in millions)

Year

Number of Visits
(in millions)

2007

275.6

2012

282.8

2008

274.9

2013

273.6

2009

285.6

2014

292.8

2010

281.3

2015

307.2

2011

278.9

2016 (thr. June)

141.5

331.0

Source: NPS, NPS Stats, at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/National.

Notes: The figure for 2016 shows visits through June 2016. For comparison with the previous year, visits through June 2015 were slightly lower at 137.1 million.

Figure 9. Annual Recreational Visits to the National Park System, 2007-2016

(total visits in millions, by calendar year, through June 2016)

Source: National Park Service, NPS Stats, at https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/National.

National Park Service Staffing

NPS's full-time equivalent (FTE) staffing level during the past decade ranged from a low of 19,832 in FY2007 to a high of 22,211 in FY2010 (Figure 10 and Table 6). Measured across the decade, staff size grew from 19,832 in FY2007 to an estimated 21,635 for FY2016, an increase of 9.1%.

Figure 10. NPS Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Staff, FY2007-FY2016

Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, "Department of the Interior FTE History: Full-Time Equivalent Staff Year (FTE) Usage of Bureaus and Offices," at https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/migrated/budget/upload/FTE-_History_Table.pdf.

Table 6. NPS Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Staff, FY2007-FY2016

Year

Number of FTEs

Year

Number of FTEs

FY2007

19,832

FY2012

21,830

FY2008

20,301

FY2013

20,720

FY2009

20,991

FY2014

19,894

FY2010

22,211

FY2015

21,164

FY2011

22,051

FY2016 (est.)

21,635

Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, "Department of the Interior FTE History: Full-Time Equivalent Staff Year (FTE) Usage of Bureaus and Offices," at http://www.doi.gov/budget/upload/FTE-_History_Table.pdf.

Conclusion

For FY2017, NPSthe Obama Administration requested discretionary appropriations of $3.101 billion for NPS, an 8.8% increase over enacted FY2016 appropriations. Much of the requested increase was to address deferred maintenance in the context of the agency's 2016 centennial anniversary and NPS's future infrastructure needsincrease would be for activities associated with the agency's centennial anniversary in 2016, especially to address deferred maintenance in the context of the centennial. The House passed H.R. 5538, containing appropriations of $2.930 billion for NPS, an increase of 2.8% over FY2016. The Senate Appropriations Committee reported S. 3068, with $2.914 billion (+2.2%) for NPS.

The 114th Congress did not enact full-year FY2017 Interior appropriations, and funding was provided by continuing resolutions at the FY2016 level (minus a reduction of less than 1%) through April 28, 2017. NPS

NPS has also requested a significant increase in its mandatory appropriations for FY2017, some of which would require changes in authorizing law. Bills in theThe 114th Congress would provide some of these requested mandatory appropriationsdid not enact laws to provide these requested mandatory appropriations, and P.L. 114-289 addressed NPS funding in other ways.

Over the past decade (FY2007-FY2016), NPS's discretionary appropriations rose by 24.0% in nominal dollars and 7.9% in inflation-adjusted dollars. In general, the proportion of NPS funding devoted to basic park operations—the Operation of the National Park System account—increased over the decade, as did the proportion for land acquisition, while funding for other areas in the NPS portfolio, including construction, declined.

The funding changes took place in the context of a park system of stable size, with a staffing level that hovered around 20,000. Visits to the parks were generally higher in the second half of the decade than the first and peaked in 20152016 at approximately 307331 million visits.

A major funding issue for NPS is infrastructure reinvestment. The agency's backlog of deferred maintenance and repairs for its infrastructure was estimated at $11.927 billion for FY2015. Despite agency efforts to address the backlog through improved inventory and asset management, the backlog has grown as NPS assets age and deteriorate and needed maintenance and repairs are not performed. NPS's infrastructure needs are receiving attention in the 115th Congress, both within and outside the annual appropriations process, as Congress considers the NPS backlog in the context of addressing the nation's infrastructure investments more broadly.

million visits.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Analyst in Natural Resources Policy ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Footnotes

4. 8.
1.

National Park Service (NPS), Budget Justifications and Performance Information, Fiscal Year 2017, p. Overview-4, at https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY17-NPS-Greenbook-for-website.pdf.

2.

For more on NPS's deferred maintenance backlog, estimated for FY2015 at $11.93 billion, see CRS Report R43997, Deferred Maintenance of Federal Land Management Agencies: FY2005-FY2014 Estimates, by [author name scrubbed].

3see the text box entitled "NPS Infrastructure: Funding for Deferred Maintenance."
3.

National Park Service, "Planning, Design, and Construction Management: NPS Deferred Maintenance Reports," at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/plandesignconstruct/defermain.htm.

Changes in appropriations over time may be measured in actual dollars (also called nominal or current dollars) or in dollar amounts that are adjusted for inflation (known as real, constant, or inflation-adjusted dollars). The latter measure is useful for gauging the relative impact of appropriations over the long term. For example, although NPS's discretionary appropriations of $2.615 billion in FY2015 were higher in nominal dollars than the $2.256 billion appropriated in FY2006, the FY2015 figure bought only the amount of goods and services that $2.251 billion would have purchased in FY2006. In this sense, the FY2015 appropriation represented a decline in NPS spending power compared with FY2006. Several different indexes measure inflation and allow for calculations of inflation-adjusted dollar amounts. This report uses the GDP Chained Price Index from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 10.1, "Gross Domestic Product and Deflators Used in the Historical Tables—1940-2021," at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals. For more information on measuring inflation, see CRS Report RL30344, Inflation: Causes, Costs, and Current Status, by [author name scrubbed].

45.

The Land Acquisition and State Assistance account constitutes NPS's portion of appropriations from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF is the principal source of funding used by four federal land management agencies—NPS, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service—for land acquisition for outdoor recreation. In addition, the LWCF provides grants to states for outdoor recreation purposes. These grants are administered through NPS. For more information on the LWCF, see CRS Report RL33531, Land and Water Conservation Fund: Overview, Funding History, and Issues, by [author name scrubbed].

56.

The account was titled Centennial Challenge in FY2008, FY2015, and FY2016, but it was called Park Partnership Project Grants in FY2010.

67.

For a discussion of offsetting collections in the federal budget process, see CRS Report 98-721, Introduction to the Federal Budget Process, coordinated by [author name scrubbed].

See the discussions below for specific examples.

79.

For example, in FY2007, funding for three museums moved from the National Recreation and Preservation account to the Operation of the National Park System (ONPS) account, and funding for the Harpers Ferry Center moved from the ONPS account to the Construction account.

810.

Prior to FY2008, the U.S. Park Police—a uniformed law-enforcement entity providing protection to park sites in the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, DC—received funding under a separate U.S. Park Police account. In this report, ONPS appropriations totals for FY2007 include the Park Police account to provide consistency with subsequent years in which Park Police funding was merged into the ONPS account.

911.

The park support activity includes administering, managing, and supporting the operations of park units.

1012.

These external administrative costs include employee compensation payments, unemployment compensation payments, centralized information technology costs, telecommunications, postage, space rental from the General Services Administration, and departmental program charges.

1113.

These calculations use funding amounts from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. It is difficult to calculate exact percentage growth or decline for three of the activities—resource stewardship, visitor services, and park protection (including the U.S. Park Police)—because an account realignment in FY2010 significantly reorganized programs within these areas. However, these three activities combined show a slight growth (+2.0% in inflation-adjusted dollars) between FY2007 and FY2016. Funding for facility operations and maintenance also grew (+6.4% in inflation-adjusted dollars) in this period.

1214.

A fuller description of NPS's two-tier priority system is in the agency's FY2017 budget justification, p. Const-8, at http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY17-NPS-Greenbook-for-website.pdf.

1315.

To facilitate multiyear comparisons, the FY2007 total for the National Recreation and Preservation (NR&P) account includes appropriations for the Preserve America program, which was shifted to this account beginning in FY2008.

1416.

National heritage areas are established by Congress but are not federally managed, and they are not part of the National Park System. For more on national heritage areas, see CRS Report RL33462, Heritage Areas: Background, Proposals, and Current Issues, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

1517.

In inflation-adjusted dollars, the FY2016 appropriation for heritage area partnerships was 29.4% higher than the FY2007 appropriation.

1618.

The fund was established in an amendment to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (P.L. 94-422, amending P.L. 89-665; 54 U.S.C. §§300101 et seq.).

17.

Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2017, Appendix, p. 700, at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2017/assets/int.pdf. Bills in the 114th Congress (H.R. 2817, S. 556, S. 2012, S. 2089) would extend the funding authorization.

1819.

The amount shown for FY2007 does not include appropriations for the Preserve America program. See footnote 1315.

1920.

Although the Save America's Treasures program has not been funded in recent years, it continues to administer existing grants.

2021.

See NPS, Budget Justifications and Performance Information, Fiscal Year 2008, p. HPF-11, at http://home.nps.gov/applications/budgetweb/downloads/fy_2008_greenbook.pdf; S.Rept. 114-281; and H.Rept. 114-632. As of FY2008, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) program also had $4.3 million in unobligated funding to continue to award to HBCUs, although new funds were not being appropriated.

2122.

The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) account also included appropriations for the Preserve America matching-grant program in FY2007, but in this report its appropriations are counted in the NR&P account, where the program was later funded. Figure 6 thus does not reflect any funding for this program. The program supported historic preservation efforts through heritage tourism, education, and historic preservation planning. It received no funding after FY2010.

2223.

The agency requested $3.0 million for grants to HBCUs for preservation of sites and stories relating to civil rights and the African-American experience.

2324.

For more information on the LWCF, see CRS Report RL33531, Land and Water Conservation Fund: Overview, Funding History, and Issues, by [author name scrubbed]. In addition to the state grants and federal land acquisition grants discussed here, a portion of the LWCF also has been used to fund other programs.

2425.

Almost all of the system's federally owned lands are directly administered by NPS. However, the federally owned portion of the system also includes some NPS "less than fee" acres (e.g., conservation easements or rights-of-way) and some lands managed by other federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Reclamation, the Forest Service, or the Fish and Wildlife Service. Taken together, these lands amount to about 1% of the federally owned portion of the system.

2526.

These units are the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (CO), Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial (CA), River Raisin National Battlefield Park (MI), President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site (AR), Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial (DC), Fort Monroe National Monument (VA), Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park (NJ), Cesar E. Chavez National Monument (CA), Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park (MD), First State National Historical Park (DE), Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument (OH), Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument (NV), World War I Memorial (DC), Valles Caldera National Preserve (NM), Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park (MA and RI), Pullman National Monument (IL), Honouliuli National Monument (HI), Waco Mammoth National Monument (TX), Manhattan Project National Historical Park (TN, NM, and WA), Castle Mountains National Monument (CA), Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument (DC), and Stonewall National Monument (NY), and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (ME). A list of recent additions to the National Park System can be found at NPS, Recent Changes in the National Park System, at https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/upload/Recent-Changes-06-24-2016.pdf.

26.

This compares the 2015 visitor total with that for 2007, since 2015 is the most recent year with complete data.

01-13-17.pdf.
27.

The storm, which struck the East Coast in October 2012, closed nearly 70 park units, in some cases for months. These included heavily visited sites such as the Statue of Liberty, which remained closed through July 2013.

28.

In October 2013, the month of the government shutdown, visitation dropped by 6.4 million compared to the previous October. The total decrease for 2013 compared to 2012 was 9.1 million. See NPS, 2013 National Park Visitor Spending Effects: Economic Contributions to Local Communities, States, and the Nation, Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/EQD/NRR—2014/824, July 2014, pp. 2-3, at http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/docs/NPSVSE2013_final_nrss.pdf.