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National Park Service Appropriations: Ten-Year Trends

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

March 14, 2017Updated July 10, 2018 (R42757)
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Summary

The National Park Service (NPS) receives annualgenerally receives appropriations in the annual Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. This report examines trends in NPS appropriations over the past decade (FY2009-FY2018), as well as changes during the decade in the size of the National Park System, numbers of recreational visits to the parks, and NPS staffing levels.

NPS's appropriations fluctuated during the decade, mainly declining in the first part of the decade and then increasing during the second part. In the first and last years of the decade (FY2009 and FY2018), as well as in one intervening year (FY2013), appropriations totals were notably increased by supplemental funding. In FY2009, supplemental appropriations for economic stimulus affected NPS accounts for park operations, construction, and historic preservation; in FY2013 and FY2018, supplemental funding for hurricane recovery affected the accounts for construction and historic preservation. With the supplemental appropriations included, the total discretionary appropriation for FY2018 represented an increase (+5.6%) in nominal dollars over the FY2009 total but a decrease (-8.0%) in inflation-adjusted dollars. Excluding supplementals, NPS appropriations increased between FY2009 and FY2018 by 26.8% in nominal dollars and 10.5% in inflation-adjusted dollars.

During this period, NPS's discretionary appropriations were organized primarily in five accounts. A sixth account (Centennial Challenge) was funded only in certain years. Regular appropriations fluctuated over the decade for all the accounts, and the extent to which an account increased or decreased also was affected by supplemental appropriations. With supplementals included, two accounts received more funding in FY2018 than in FY2009 in real (inflation-adjusted) terms, including one account that funds federal land acquisition and outdoor recreation assistance to states and one that provides grants to states and tribes for historic preservation activities. Three other accounts received less funding in FY2018 than in FY2009 in inflation-adjusted dollars—including NPS's largest account, which funds basic park operations, as well as the account that funds construction and major repairs and the account for NPS assistance to nonfederal entities. Excluding supplementals, funding still grew in real terms for the land acquisition and historic preservation accounts, but it also grew for the operations and construction accounts, declining only for assistance to nonfederal entities. The operations and construction accounts are partially used to address NPS's deferred maintenance backlog, which has grown throughout the decade.

The funding changes took place in the context of relative stability in the size of the National Park System, which was about 85 million acres throughout the decade, with slight growth (+0.8%). The total consisted of roughly 80 million acres of federal land, with the remainder nonfederal. Although system acreage remained relatively stable, 26 new units were added to the system during the decade. NPS staffing levels hovered around 20,000 and were highest in the first part of the decade, stemming partly from the economic stimulus measures in FY2009. Visits to the parks increased over the decade, peaking at approximately 331 million visits in 2016.

The National Park Service (NPS) administers the National Park System, which covers 85 million acres of land and consists of 417 diverse units valued for their natural, cultural, and recreational importance. NPS generally receives appropriations in the annual Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. This report examines trends in the agency's discretionary appropriations over the past decade (FY2009-FY2018) and related issues and congressional actions. It also discusses changes in the size of the National Park System, numbers of recreational visits to the parks, and NPS staffing levels during that period.

NPS Discretionary Appropriations Totals NPS's discretionary appropriations fluctuated during the past decade (FY2009-FY2018). Appropriations in the decade's first and last years were highest, partially owing to supplemental appropriations in both years. With the supplementals included, discretionary appropriations totaled $3.276 billion in FY2009 and $3.460 billion in FY2018. The FY2018 figure was 5.6% higher than FY2009 in nominal dollars but 8.0% lower when adjusted for inflation (Figure 1 and Table 1).1 Excluding supplementals, NPS's FY2018 appropriations were 26.8% higher than FY2009 appropriations in nominal dollars and 10.5% higher in inflation-adjusted dollars. In either case, the main trend was decline in the first part of the decade and increase in the second part.

Figure 1. NPS Discretionary Appropriations, FY2009-FY2018

($ billions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars)

Sources: FY2009-FY2014 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. FY2015-FY2017 data are from NPS budget justifications for FY2017-FY2019. FY2018 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: See footnote 1 for additional information on this figure.

Table 1. NPS Discretionary Appropriations, FY2009-FY2018

($ billions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars)

 

Appropriation in Nominal $

Appropriation in Inflation-Adjusted 2009 $

% Change Since Previous Year

     

Nominal

Inflation-Adjusted

FY2009

3.276a

3.276

FY2010

2.744

2.720

-16.2%

-17.0%

FY2011

2.611

2.537

-4.8%

-6.7%

FY2012

2.580

2.461

-1.2%

-3.0%

FY2013

2.775b

2.604

+7.6%

+5.8%

FY2014

2.562

2.360

-7.7%

-9.4%

FY2015

2.616

2.382

+2.1%

+0.9%

FY2016

2.852

2.567

+9.0%

+7.8%

FY2017

2.932

2.595

+2.8%

+1.1%

FY2018

3.460c

3.014

+9.2%

+7.5%

Total Change

+0.184

-0.261

+5.6%

-8.0%

Sources: FY2009-FY2014 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. FY2015-FY2017 data are from NPS budget justifications for FY2017-FY2019. FY2018 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. Percentage calculations by CRS.

Notes: Data include supplemental appropriations. See footnote 1 for additional information on this table.

a. The FY2009 total of $3.276 billion includes regular appropriations of $2.526 billion and supplemental appropriations of $0.750 billion. b. The FY2013 total of $2.775 billion includes regular appropriations of $2.398 billion and supplemental appropriations of $0.377 billion. c. The FY2018 total of $3.460 billion includes regular appropriations of $3.202 billion and supplemental appropriations of $0.258 billion.

The supplemental appropriations consisted of economic stimulus measures in FY2009 (P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) and appropriations for hurricane recovery in FY2013 (P.L. 113-2) and FY2018 (P.L. 115-123). These funds were provided outside of regular appropriations laws and were not subject to discretionary spending caps.

Individual NPS Accounts During the decade, NPS's appropriations were primarily organized in 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).2 By far the largest share of NPS's discretionary appropriations—72% in FY20183—went to the ONPS account, which covers basic park operations (Figure 2 and Table 2). In addition to these five accounts, during five years of the past decade (FY2010 and FY2015-FY2018), Congress appropriated funds for a sixth account, the Centennial Challenge account.4 The account provides the federal share of matching grants for "signature" park projects and programs, primarily aimed at addressing the agency's substantial backlog of deferred maintenance on its infrastructure.5

Mandatory Appropriations in the National Park Service's Budget

Most of NPS's funding comes from discretionary appropriations, which are controlled by annual appropriations laws. 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. Altogether, for FY2018, NPS estimated mandatory funding of $0.708 billion, whereas the agency's discretionary appropriations for FY2018 were $3.460 billion (including supplemental funding). Based on the NPS estimates, mandatory appropriations would constitute approximately 17% of NPS's total FY2018 budget.

In its FY2019 budget request, the Trump Administration included a legislative proposal to increase NPS's mandatory appropriations through the establishment of a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund, to be used for repairs and improvements in national parks, national wildlife refuges, and schools administered by the Bureau of Indian Education. One primary goal of the fund would be to address NPS's backlog of deferred maintenance, estimated at $11.6 billion for FY2017. The Administration's proposal was introduced in modified form in the 115th Congress as H.R. 5210 and S. 2509, the National Park Restoration Act. Under the bills, mandatory funding would go entirely to NPS (rather than to other bureaus in the Department of the Interior) for "priority deferred maintenance needs that support critical infrastructure and visitor services." The proposals would fund infrastructure needs from any onshore or offshore energy development revenues that the federal government receives above certain named thresholds over the next decade. Because future energy revenues are unknown, it is uncertain how much money, if any, would be generated for NPS. The House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on H.R. 5210 on March 20, 2018. Other bills also have been introduced in the 115th Congress to provide mandatory funding from energy revenues for NPS deferred maintenance, including H.R. 2584, S. 751, and S. 3172. H.R. 2584, which also has received a House hearing, would deposit specified amounts from onshore and offshore mineral revenues each year through FY2047 for NPS deferred maintenance, in increasing amounts up to $500 million.

The Obama Administration also sought changes in law that would significantly increase the mandatory spending available to NPS, again with a primary goal of addressing NPS's deferred maintenance backlog. Obama Administration budget requests proposed to more than double the agency's mandatory appropriations through various funds targeted to infrastructure and maintenance, and they also sought permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, for land acquisition by NPS and other agencies.

New mandatory spending would be subject to certain budget enforcement requirements, including the potential need to offset such spending. These requirements represent a hurdle for the above-described mandatory proposals. In the 114th Congress, H.R. 3556 and S. 2257 would have implemented many of the Obama Administration's requested changes, but neither bill was enacted. The 114th Congress did enact P.L. 114-289, which established the NPS Centennial Challenge Fund and an NPS Endowment. The law provided for a price increase for senior passes to the parks, with portions of the additional revenues directed to the Centennial Challenge Fund and the Endowment. This funding was provided as offsetting collections to annual appropriations. Deferred maintenance projects are a prioritized use of the funds.

Table 2. NPS Appropriations by Account, FY2009-FY2018

($ millions, in nominal dollars and inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars)

 

ONPS

Construction

NR&P

HPF

LASA

CC

Totala

FY2009

2,277.755b 821.521b

58.384

83.984b

64.190

3,275.834b FY2010 Inflation-Adjusted 2,261.5592,241.831 232.969230.937 68.43667.839 79.500 78.807 126.266 125.165 5.000c4.956 2,743.7302,719.796 FY2011 Inflation-Adjusted 2,250.0502,186.000 184.646179.390 57.24555.615 54.391 52.843 94.810 92.111

2,611.1422,536.813 FY2012Inflation-Adjusted 2,236.5682,133.926 155.366148.236 59.87957.131 55.91053.344 101.89797.221

2,579.6202,461.235 FY2013Inflation-Adjusted 2,097.2611,967.781 453.885d425.863 56.74753.244 100.486d94.282 96.56790.605

2,774.946d2,603.627 FY2014Inflation-Adjusted 2,236.7532,061.144 137.461126.669 60.79556.022 56.41051.981 98.10090.398

2,561.5192,360.412 FY2015Inflation-Adjusted 2,277.4852,073.646 138.339125.957 63.11757.468 56.41051.361 98.96090.103 10.0009.105 2,616.5012,382.319 FY2016Inflation-Adjusted 2,370.7242,133.865 192.937173.661 62.63256.374 65.41058.875 173.670156.319 15.00013.501 2,852.4132,567.428 FY2017Inflation-Adjusted 2,425.1202,145.934 209.353185.252 62.63855.427 80.91071.595 162.029143.376 20.00017.698 2,932.1202,594.567 FY2018Inflation-Adjusted 2,477.9692,158.886 567.304494.253 63.63855.443 146.910127.993 180.941157.642 23.00020.038 3,459.762e3,014.255

Sources: FY2009-FY2014 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. FY2015-FY2017 data are from NPS budget justifications for FY2017-FY2019. FY2018 data are from 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. Data include supplemental appropriations. See footnote 1 for additional information on this table.

a. Totals reflect annual rescissions for LWCF contract authority of $30.0 million for FY2005-FY2013 and $28.0 million for FY2014-FY2017Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. For FY2017, the Obama Administration requested $3.101 billion in discretionary appropriations for NPS, an increase of 8.8% over the enacted FY2016 amount. 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. Parts of the mandatory request 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, a requested increase of 28.5% over the FY2016 total.

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 and its expected future infrastructure needs. 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 $171.4 million less than the Obama Administration's 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 $187.5 million less 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 fluctuated during that time period, 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, 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 84.7 million acres over the past 10 years. The agency's staffing levels fluctuated around 20,000 and grew overall. Visits to the parks increased over the decade, peaking at approximately 331 million visits in 2016.


National Park Service: FY2017 Appropriations and Ten-Year Trends

The National Park Service (NPS) administers the National Park System, which covers 84.7 million acres of land and consists of 417 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). Parts of the mandatory request 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, a 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 and its expected future infrastructure needs.2 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 $171.4 million less than the Obama Administration's 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 $187.5 million less 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 2017, 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, the Obama Administration sought changes in law that would significantly increase the mandatory spending available to the agency. In particular, the 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 brought 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 was to address the agency's backlog of deferred maintenance, estimated at $11.927 billion for FY2015 (the most recent NPS estimate available). In its budget request, NPS stated 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 represented a hurdle for the Obama Administration's mandatory proposals. In the 114th Congress, H.R. 3556 and S. 2257 would have implemented many of the 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 P.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).4 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).5 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 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.6 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. 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.8 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.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. 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. Congress did not enact the rescission in FY2018 appropriations. b. The FY2009 total of $3.276 billion includes regular appropriations of $2.526 billion and supplemental appropriations of $750.0 million. Supplemental FY2009 appropriations for specific accounts were $146.0 million for ONPS, $589.0 million for Construction, and $15.0 million for HPF. c. For FY2010, the Centennial Challenge account was titled Park Partnership Project Grants. d. The FY2013 total of $2.775 billion includes regular appropriations of $2.398 billion and supplemental appropriations of $377.3 million (after sequestration). Supplemental FY2013 appropriations for specific accounts (after sequestration) were $329.8 million for Construction and $47.5 million for HPF. See NPS budget justification for FY2015, with FY2013 final appropriations totals, at https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY-2015-Greenbook-Linked.pdf. e. The FY2018 total of $3.460 billion includes regular appropriations of $3.202 billion and supplemental appropriations of $257.6 million. Supplemental FY2018 appropriations for specific accounts were $207.6 million for Construction and $50.0 million for HPF.

Figure 2. NPS's FY2018 Discretionary Appropriations by Account

Source: P.L. 115-123; and P.L. 115-141, Division G, Explanatory Statement, Congressional Record, March 22, 2018, pp. H2609-H2694.

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 data reflect supplemental appropriations for hurricane recovery in P.L. 115-123, including $207.6 million for the Construction account and $50.0 million for the HPF account.

Operation of the National Park System Account Appropriations for the largest NPS account, entitled Operation of the National Park System (ONPS), support the activities, programs, and services that form the day-to-day operations of the National Park System. Including supplemental appropriations for economic stimulus, ONPS funding was $2.278 billion in FY2009 and increased in nominal dollars to $2.478 billion in FY2018 (see Table 2 and Figure 3). When adjusted for inflation, however, this represents a decrease of 5.2%. With supplemental appropriations excluded, the FY2009 funding was less ($2.132 billion), and by this measure funding for the account increased over the decade in real terms, by 1.3% in inflation-adjusted dollars. As a percentage of total NPS appropriations, the ONPS share grew slightly over the decade if supplemental appropriations are counted, increasing from 69.5% of total funding in FY2009 to 71.6% in FY2018. Without supplementals, the ONPS share was 84% of total funding in FY2009 and 77% in FY2018, representing a decrease in share.

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),10 facility operations and maintenance, and park support,116 as well as "external administrative costs" for services provided by outside entities.12 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.13

7 Among these activities, funding for facility operations and maintenance, park support, and external administrative costs grew over the decade, whereas collective funding for the remaining activities—resource stewardship, visitor services, and park protection—declined.8 (These calculations do not reflect supplementals, because the supplemental funds were not assigned at the subaccount level.)

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

FY2009-FY2018

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 20072009 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 (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 appropriations: FY2009-FY2014 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. FY2015-FY2017 data are from NPS budget justifications for FY2017-FY2019. FY2018 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. Notes: See footnote 1 for additional information on this figure.

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 forto the account at the beginningfor the first and last years 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.

FY2009 and FY2018), along with the appropriation for FY2013, were considerably higher than construction appropriations in intervening years, in all three cases owing to supplemental appropriations related to economic stimulus (FY2009) or hurricane recovery (FY2013 and FY2018). With the supplementals included and adjusting for inflation, the FY2018 appropriation was 39.8% lower than the FY2009 appropriation (see Figure 4 and Table 2). Construction appropriations accordingly represented a smaller portion of total NPS appropriations in FY2018 (16.4%) than they did in FY2009 (25.0%). Excluding supplementals, funding for the account grew over the decade by 34.8% in inflation-adjusted dollars, and Construction's share of total funding also rose (from 9.2% in FY2009 to 11.2% in FY2018).

Figure 4. Appropriations for NPS's Construction Account, FY2009-FY2018

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars)

Sources: FY2009-FY2014 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. FY2015-FY2017 data are from NPS budget justifications for FY2017-FY2019. FY2018 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: See footnote 1 for additional information on this figure.

NPS 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-20th20th 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 $9.6110.17 billion in FY2007FY2009 to an estimated $11.92761 billion (in nominal dollars) in FY2015FY2017, the most recent year for which NPS estimates are available. The bulk of NPS deferred maintenance—5251% in FY2015FY2017—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 For more information on NPS deferred maintenance, see CRS Report R44924, The National Park Service's Maintenance Backlog: Frequently Asked Questions, by Laura B. Comay; and CRS Report R43997, Deferred Maintenance of Federal Land Management Agencies: FY2005-FY2014 Estimates, by [author name scrubbed]FY2007-FY2016 Estimates and Issues, by Carol Hardy Vincent.

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.9 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.14 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).

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.

10 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).

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 overallranged from $55 million to $65 million throughout the decade. Comparing FY2018 with FY2009 shows a growth in nominal dollars, from $59.358.4 million in FY2007FY2009 to $6263.6 million in FY2016.15FY2018. Adjusted for inflation, however, the appropriation declined by 8.4this represents a decline of 5.0% (Figure 5 and Table 32). The portion of total NPS funding used for the NR&P account (1.8%) was the same at the beginning and end of the decade. The NR&P account was not affected by supplemental funding during the decade. ). 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.16 Its appropriations grew over the decade,17 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

FY2009-FY2018

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 20072009 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 1976,18s: FY2009-FY2014 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. FY2015-FY2017 data are from NPS budget justifications for FY2017-FY2019. FY2018 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: See footnote 1 for additional information on this figure.

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 in the account.11 Its appropriations grew over the decade in both nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars,12 despite budget requests from the Obama and Trump Administrations to significantly reduce it. The number of heritage areas also increased during the decade, from 39 to 49. The NR&P account also has included other programs that assist nonfederal entities, such as the American Battlefield Protection Program; Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program; National Natural Landmarks and National Historic Landmarks Programs; National Register of Historic Places; and Preserve America Program. The account further covers international park affairs, environmental and compliance review, and grants administration.

Historic Preservation Fund The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), established in 1976,13 is administered by NPS through appropriations to the agency's HPF account. In accordance with the purposes of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA; P.L. 89-665; 54 U.S.C. §§300101 et seq.), the fund primarily provides grants-in-aid to state and local governments and private entities for conservingtribal historic preservation offices for conservation of cultural and historical assets and sites. Its grants are normallyGrants are typically awarded on a 60% federal/40% state matching share basis. The HPF is funded by revenues from oil and gas activities on the U.S. outer continental shelf. Funding was reauthorized through FY2023 in P.L. 114-289.

14

Appropriations for the HPF account varied during the decade and grew overall in nominal dollars—from $60.7 million in FY200719 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).20 The account also contained appropriations for grants to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) until FY2007,21 after which these institutions were encouraged to seek restoration grants through the Save America's Treasures program.22 For FY2017, NPS requested that grants to HBCUs again be funded from the HPF account,23 and both the Senate-reported and House-passed appropriations bills contain the requested funding.

were highest in FY2013 ($100.4 million) and FY2018 ($146.9 million), in both cases due to supplemental appropriations for hurricane recovery (see Figure 6 and Table 2).15 This supplemental funding was primarily to assist recovering states and territories with compliance activities related to Section 106 of the NHPA. (Under Section 106, projects that receive federal funds or permits—such as many hurricane recovery projects—must be assessed for their potential effects on historic properties.) The account also received some supplemental funding as part of the economic stimulus package in FY2009. With supplementals included, the FY2018 appropriation was 52.4% higher in inflation-adjusted dollars than the FY2009 appropriation, and the account represented 2.6% of the total NPS appropriation in FY2009 and 4.2% in FY2018. With supplementals excluded, the FY2018 appropriation was 22.4% higher than in FY2009, and the account's share of total NPS appropriations was 2.7% in FY2009 and 3.0% in FY2018.

The largest activity in the account is funding for state historic preservation offices, which stayed relatively level (growth of +0.3%) in inflation-adjusted terms over the decade. (This does not include any supplemental funding, because none of the supplemental appropriations were assigned at the subaccount level.) Tribal grants rose by 42.9% after adjusting for inflation. At various points during the decade, the account also funded other grant programs, such as a competitive grant program for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the Save America's Treasures program to restore nationally significant historic structures and artifacts.

Figure 6. Appropriations for NPS's Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) Account, FY2009-FY2018

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars)

Sources: FY2009-FY2014 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. FY2015-FY2017 data are from NPS budget justifications for FY2017-FY2019. FY2018 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: See footnote 1 for additional information on this figure.

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.2416 In addition, the LWCF supports grants to states (and, through states, to localities) for outdoorassistance with recreation purposes, specifically to develop plans for outdoor recreation needs and to acquire and develop park areasplanning, acquiring recreational lands and waters, and developing outdoor recreational facilities. These 50/50 matching grants, administered by NPS, are generallygenerally are allocated to states by formula. In recent years, a portion of the funding ($1220.0 million for FY2016FY2018, out of a total of $110124.0 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 federal and state assistance portions of the LWCF—varied during the decade and rose overall, with the highest amounts appropriated in the past three years (see Figure 7 and Table 32). The appropriation rose from $64.02 million in FY2007 to $173.7FY2009 to $180.9 million in FY2016.FY2018. (As with NR&P, supplemental appropriations did not affect the LASA account during the decade.) Adjusted for inflation, this is a growth of 135.3145.6%. The growth is partlylargely attributable to a significant increase in appropriations for state land acquisition in FY2016 as compared with earlierrecent years. Altogether, the LASA account represented 2.80% of the total NPS appropriation in FY2007 and 6.1% in FY2016.

FY2009 and 5.2% in FY2018.

Both parts of the account—the funds for NPS land acquisition and for assistance to states—fluctuated duringgrew over the decade, but growth in the NPS portion was smaller (+9.8% in inflation-adjusted dollars) than in the state portion (+468.6%) but grew overall. State assistance was less than $3020 million annually for FY2007-in FY2009, rose to roughly $40 million-$50 million annually for FY2010-FY2015, and more than doubled to, reaching $110 million-$125 million, for FY2016-FY2018. For land acquisition by NPS, annual funding ranged between $3045 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

FY2009-FY2018

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 20072009 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/Historicalss: FY2009-FY2014 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. FY2015-FY2017 data are from NPS budget justifications for FY2017-FY2019. FY2018 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: See footnote 1 for additional information on this figure.

Centennial Challenge

The Centennial Challenge account was funded during certain years of the decade (FY2010 and FY2015-FY2018). The account consists of a matching-grant program to spur partner donations for park improvements, primarily aimed at addressing deferred maintenance. The name "Centennial Challenge" indicates the fund's origin as a program to improve the parks in anticipation of NPS's 2016 centennial anniversary and its second century of park management. Both the Bush and Obama Administrations had proposed discretionary and mandatory funding for the fund prior to its legislative establishment in December 2016 (P.L. 114-289), and Congress had provided discretionary appropriations in some years, starting in FY2008. P.L. 114-289 codified the Centennial Challenge Fund and authorized it to receive federal revenues from certain sales of National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes to seniors, in addition to discretionary appropriations. The senior pass revenues are provided as offsetting collections.17 Revenues are to be matched on at least a one-to-one basis by nonfederal donations.

During the past decade, Congress appropriated $5.0 million for the fund in 2010 and then did not make further appropriations until FY2015. Starting in that year, Congress appropriated increasing amounts, so that the FY2018 appropriation represented an increase of 120.1% over FY2015, and 304.3% over FY2010, in inflation-adjusted dollars. Still, the FY2018 appropriation, at $23.0 million, remained smaller than that for any other NPS account.18

Figure 8. Appropriations for NPS's Centennial Challenge Account, FY2009-FY2018

($ millions, in nominal and inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars)

Sources: FY2009-FY2014 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. FY2015-FY2017 data are from NPS budget justifications for FY2017-FY2019. FY2018 data are from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS.

Notes: See footnote 1 for additional information on this figure.

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 sizeacreage of the National Park System has remained relatively stable, growing by 0.5%8%, while 26 new units were added. Visitation peaked in 2016 and was generally higher in the second part of the decade than the first. Staffing levels fluctuated around 20,000 during the past 10 years.

Size of the National Park System

The size of the National Park System roseacreage grew slightly over the decade, from 84.34 million acres to 84.785.0 million acres, a growth of 0.58%. (See Figure 89 and Table 43.) The percentage of National Park System lands owned by the federal government25 grew from 93.5% in FY2007 to 95.3% in FY2016. remained steady, at 95.3% of total system lands.19 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

.

Although the overall size of the National Park System did not change significantly, 26 units were added to the system in the FY2009-FY2018 period.20 Many were relatively small in acreage, such as Stonewall National Monument in New York (0.12 acres) and 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 Valles Caldera National Preserve (89,000 acres) and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine (87,563 acres). Other acreage changes resulted from boundary adjustments in existing parks.

Figure 9. Size of the National Park System, FY2009-FY2018

(in millions of acres)

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

FY2018 figures are as of December 31, 2017, the most recent data available.

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 43. Size of the National Park System, FY2007-FY2016

FY2009-FY2018

(in millions of acres)

 

Federal Land

Nonfederal Land

Total Acreage

FY2007

FY2009

78.846

80.438

5.477

3.938

84.322

375

FY2008

FY2010

78.855

80.518

5.476

3.863

84.331

381

FY2009

FY2011

80.438

485

3.938

900

84.375

385

FY2010

FY2012

80.518

384

3.863

4.039

84.381

423

FY2011

FY2013

80.485

473

3.900

4.007

84.385

479

FY2012

FY2014

80.384

466

4.039

012

84.423

478

FY2013

FY2015

80.473

598

4.007

021

84.479

616

FY2014

FY2016

80.466

629

4.012

019

84.478

736

FY2015

FY2017

80.598

81.008

4.021

031

84.616

85.039

FY2016

FY2018 (through Dec. 2017)

80.629

81.008

4.019

032

84.736

85.040

Sources: 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. FY2018 figures are as of December 31, 2017, the most recent data available.

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, 23 new units were added to the system in the FY2007-FY2016 period.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 2015 (307.22016 (331.0 million visits) and 2016 (331.02017 (330.9 million visits; see Figure 910 and Table 54). Visits at the end of the decade were 20.115.9% higher than at the beginning.21 Table 4% higher than at the beginning. 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

2009-2018

(total visits by calendar year)

Year

Number of Visits
(in millions)

Year

Number of Visits
(in millions)

2007

2009

275285.6

2012

2014

282292.8

2008

2010

274.9

281.3

2013

2015

273.6

307.2

2009

2011

285.6

278.9

2014

2016

292.8

331.0

2010

2012

281.3

282.8

2015

2017

307.2

330.9

2011

2013

278.9

273.6

2016

2018 (thr. May)

331.0

104.4

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

Notes: The figure for 20162018 shows visits through June 2016May 2018. For comparison with the previous year, visits through June 2015 were slightly lower at 137.1 million.

May 2017 were higher at 110.3 million.

Figure 910. Annual Recreational Visits to the National Park System, 2007-2016

2009-2018

(total visits in millions, by calendar year)

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

Notes: The figure for 2018 shows visits through May 2018 (104.4 million visits). For comparison with the previous year, visits through May 2017 totaled 110.3 million.

National Park Service Staffing NPS's full-time equivalent (FTE) staffing levels were highest in the earlier part of the decade, starting with an FY2010 increase that followed economic stimulus measures in FY2009. Staffing ranged from a high of 22,211 in FY2010 to a low of 19,359 in FY2015 (Figure 11 and Table 5). NPS's staffing estimate for FY2018 would appear to be the second-lowest, but it may not fully capture staffing numbers because it was based on an appropriations baseline derived from a continuing resolution, whereas the final NPS appropriation was higher. Table 5. NPS Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Staff, FY2009-FY2018

Year

Number of FTEs

Year

Number of FTEs

FY2007

FY2009

19,832

20,991

FY2012

FY2014

21,830

19,894

FY2008

FY2010

20,301

22,211

FY2013

FY2015

20,720

19,359

FY2009

FY2011

20,991

22,051

FY2014

FY2016

19,894

722

FY2010

FY2012

22,211

21,830

FY2015

FY2017

21,164

19,668

FY2011

FY2013

22,051

20,720

FY2016FY2018 (est.)

21,635

19,520

Source:s: FY2009-FY2015 numbers from U.S. Department of the Interior, "Department of the Interior FTE History: Full-Time Equivalent Staff Year (FTE) UsageActual of Bureaus and Offices," at httphttps://www.doi.gov/budget/upload/FTE-_History_Table.pdf.

Conclusion

For FY2017, the 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 needs. 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 also requested a significant increase in its mandatory appropriations for FY2017, some of which would require changes in authorizing law. The 114th Congress did 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 generallysites/doi.gov/files/uploads/fte-_history_table-20161108.pdf. FY2016-FY2018 numbers from NPS budget justifications.

Note: NPS's FTE estimate for FY2018 was based on an appropriations baseline of $2.924 billion derived from a continuing resolution, whereas the final NPS appropriation was $3.202 billion, not including supplementals.

Figure 11. NPS Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Staff, FY2007-FY2016 Sources: FY2009-FY2015 numbers from U.S. Department of the Interior, "Department of the Interior FTE History: Full-Time Equivalent Staff Year (FTE) Actual of Bureaus and Offices," at https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/fte-_history_table-20161108.pdf. FY2016-FY2018 numbers from NPS budget justifications.

Note: NPS's FTE estimate for FY2018 was based on an appropriations baseline of $2.924 billion derived from a continuing resolution, whereas the final NPS appropriation was $3.202 billion, not including supplementals.

Conclusion

NPS's appropriations fluctuated over the past decade, and supplemental appropriations notably increased the totals in FY2009, FY2013, and FY2018. Counting the supplementals, the total NPS discretionary appropriation for FY2018 was 5.6% higher than FY2009 in nominal dollars but 8.0% lower in inflation-adjusted dollars. Excluding supplementals, the FY2018 appropriation was higher than FY2009 in both nominal (+26.8%) and inflation-adjusted (+10.5%) dollars. The overall trend was one of decline in the first part of the decade and growth in the second part. The share of total appropriations represented by each individual account in the NPS portfolio also fluctuated, and overall changes in share vary depending on whether or not supplemental appropriations are counted.

The funding changes took place in the context of a park system of relatively stable size and a staffing level that hovered around 20,000. Although park acreage grew only slightly, 26 units were added to the system during the decade. Visits to the parks generally were higher in the second half of the decade than the first and peaked in 2016 at approximately 331 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 $11.92761 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 receivingFY2017. Funding for both of the discretionary appropriations accounts that mainly address deferred maintenance (ONPS and Construction) decreased over the decade if supplementals are counted in the measurement but increased if supplementals are excluded. NPS's infrastructure needs continue to receive 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.

.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], AnalystLaura B. Comay, Specialist in Natural Resources Policy ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Footnotes

6. 10. 19.
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, see 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.

4.

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 usesThe figures and tables in this report generally reflect rescissions and supplemental appropriations to date, including FY2009 funds from P.L. 111-5 (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act); FY2013 funds from P.L. 113-2 in response to Hurricane Sandy; and FY2018 funds in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Amounts for FY2013 also reflect the President's March 2013 budget sequestration and an across-the-board rescission of 0.2%. The data exclude permanent budget authorities and generally do not reflect scorekeeping adjustments. Adjustments for inflation (shown in 2009 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—1940-20212023," 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].

52.

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]Carol Hardy Vincent.

63.

The account was titled Centennial Challenge in FY2008, FY2015, and FY2016, but it was called Park Partnership Project Grants in FY2010Excluding the FY2018 hurricane supplemental, the percentage was even higher (77%).

74.

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].

The account was titled Centennial Challenge in FY2015-FY2018, but it was called Park Partnership Project Grants in FY2010.
85.

The backlog is estimated at $11.6 billion for FY2017. For more information, see CRS Report R44924, The National Park Service's Maintenance Backlog: Frequently Asked Questions, by Laura B. Comay. "Signature" projects and programs are to be identified by the Interior Secretary and must "help prepare the national parks for another century of conservation, preservation, and visitor enjoyment" (P.L. 114-289).

See the discussions below for specific examples.

9.

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.

10.

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.

11.

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

127.

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.

138.

These calculations use funding amounts from annual House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for NPS. It is difficult to calculate exactindividual percentage growth or decline for three of the activities—the resource stewardship, visitor services, and park protection (including the U.S. Park Police)—activities, because an account realignment in FY2010 significantly reorganized programs within these areas. However, funding for these three activities combined show a slight growth (+2.0combined shows a decrease (-5.7% in inflation-adjusted dollars) between FY2007 and FY2016FY2009 and FY2018. Funding for facility operations and maintenance also grew (+6.44.3% in inflation-adjusted dollars) in this period.

14during the period, as did funding for park support (+9.8%) and external administrative costs (+5.6%). As mentioned, these calculations do not include supplemental funding, because the FY2009 supplemental was not assigned to particular activities within the account and the other supplementals did not go to the ONPS account.
9.

It is not possible to assess growth or decline in funding for the line-item construction activity (or other activities in the account) over the decade, because much of the FY2018 funding was given as a "general program increase," without being assigned to a specific activity.

A fuller description of NPS's two-tier priority system is in the agency's FY2017FY2019 budget justification, p. Const-8, at httphttps://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY17-NPS-Greenbook-for-websiteFY2019-NPS-Budget-Justification.pdf. 11.pdf.

15.

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.

16.

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]Laura B. Comay and Carol Hardy Vincent.

1712.

In inflation-adjusted dollars, the FY2016FY2018 appropriation for heritage area partnerships was 29.412.7% higher than the FY2007FY2009 appropriation.

1813.

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.).

1914.

The fund receives $150 million annually from offshore oil and gas revenues, but the funding is available only to the extent appropriated by Congress.

15.

P.L. 113-2 and P.L. 115-123.

16.

For more information on the LWCF, see CRS Report RL33531, Land and Water Conservation Fund: Overview, Funding History, and Issues, by Carol Hardy Vincent; and CRS In Focus IF10323, Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF): Frequently Asked Questions Related to Provisions Scheduled to Expire on September 30, 2018, by Carol Hardy Vincent and Bill Heniff Jr. 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.

17.

For a discussion of offsetting collections in the federal budget process, see CRS Report 98-721, Introduction to the Federal Budget Process, coordinated by James V. Saturno.

18.

No supplemental funding affected the Centennial Challenge account during the decade.

The amount shown for FY2007 does not include appropriations for the Preserve America program. See footnote 15.

20.

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

21.

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.

22.

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.

23.

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.

24.

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.

25.

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.

2620.

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), Stonewall National Monument (NY), and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (ME), Harriet Tubman National Historical Park (NY), Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument (AL), Freedom Riders National Monument (AL), and Reconstruction Era National Monument (SC). 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-01-13-17.pdfrecent-changes.htm.

2721.

This compares 2017 visits with 2009 visits, since 2017 is the most recent year for which full information is available.

.

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.