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Updated October 15, 2020
National Park Service: FY2020 Appropriations
The National Park Service (NPS) administers the National
Figure 1. NPS Appropriations Accounts for FY2020
Park System, which includes 421 units valued for their
natural, cultural, and recreational importance and covers 85
million acres (81 million acres of federal land and 4 million
nonfederal). As an agency in the Department of the Interior,
NPS receives funding in annual appropriations laws for
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This CRS
product discusses NPS’s FY2020 appropriations; for
information on FY2021, see CRS In Focus IF11661,
National Park Service: FY2021 Appropriations.
P.L. 116-94, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act,
2020, was enacted on December 20, 2019. The act provided
$3.377 billion for NPS, 5% more than the enacted FY2019
regular appropriation of $3.223 billion. It included
increases for five NPS accounts and a reduction for one
account, as compared with the FY2019 regular
Source: Joint explanatory statement for P.L. 116-94.
appropriation (Table 1).
Notes: ONPS = Operation of the National Park System.
NR&P = National Recreation and Preservation.
FY2020 appropriations in P.L. 116-94 were 23% higher
than the Trump Administration’s request of $2.742 billion.
The next-largest amount, 12% of the regular appropriation,
The enacted discretionary appropriation exceeded the
went to NPS’s Construction account, which covers
rehabilitation and replacement of existing facilities as well
Administration’s request for each NPS budget account.
as new construction. A focus of the account is deferred
In addition to discretionary appropriations, NPS reported
maintenance projects, which are prioritized by NPS based
mandatory appropriations for FY2020 of $0.741 billion, an
on department-wide criteria related to the condition of
assets and their importance to the park’s purposes
increase of 1% over NPS mandatory funding for FY2019.
These mandatory appropriations come from entrance and
account also covers other construction activities and
recreation fees, concessioner fees, donations, and other
planning functions. P.L. 116-94 appropriated $389.3
sources, and they are used for a variety of specified
million for the NPS Construction account for FY2020; the
Administration’s request was $
purposes, including deferred maintenance.
In earlier action, on June 25, 2019, the House had passed
Approximately 6% of the FY2020 discretionary
H.R. 3055, an FY2020 consolidated appropriations bill with
appropriation went to the Land Acquisition and State
$3.362 billion for NPS (also see H.Rept. 116-100 on H.R.
Assistance (LASA) account. These monies came from the
3052, an earlier stand-alone House Interior bill). On
Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF; 54 U.S.C.
October 31, 2019, the Senate had passed its version of H.R.
§§200301 et seq.), the primary funding source for the
3055, with $3.356 billion for NPS (also see S.Rept. 116-
federal land management agencies to acquire lands. For
123 on S. 2580, a Senate stand-alone bill). Because FY2020
more information on the LWCF, see CRS Report RL33531,
appropriations were not enacted by the start of the fiscal
Land and Water Conservation Fund: Overview, Funding
year, two continuing resolutions, P.L. 116-59 and P.L. 116-
History, and Issues. NPS’s LASA account covers both
69, provided continuing appropriations at FY2019 levels
NPS’s own acquisitions (typically consisting of nonfederal
prior to enactment of P.L. 116-94.
“inholdings” inside the boundaries of national park units)
and grants to states for outdoor recreation needs. The
NPS’s Appropriations Accounts
FY2020 appropriation included $68.4 million for NPS
NPS had six discretionary appropriations accounts funded
acquisitions and $140.0 million for state assistance, along
in FY2020 (Figure 1 and Table 1). About 76% of the
with a $2.3 million rescission, for a total of $206.1 million.
appropriation went to the Operation of the National Park
The federal portion included $13.0 million for American
System (ONPS) account to support day-to-day activities,
Battlefield Protection Program grants to assist states and
programs, and services at park units. These include resource
localities with acquiring threatened battlefields. The
stewardship, visitor services, park protection, facility
Administration had requested $4.8 million in total for the
operations and maintenance, and administrative costs. The
LASA account, with no project funding for new NPS
FY2020 appropriation for the ONPS account was $2.577
acquisitions and none for state assistance.
billion; the Administration had requested $2.426 billion.