National Park Service: FY2018 Appropriations

Updated June 7, 2018 National Park Service: FY2018 Appropriations The National Park Service (NPS) administers the National Park System, which covers 85 million acres and includes 417 units valued for their natural, cultural, and recreational importance. NPS typically receives funding in annual appropriations laws for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. deferred maintenance. NPS prioritizes projects based on “mission factors” and cost-benefit considerations. The account also covers other construction activities and planning functions. P.L. 115-123 added supplemental funding of $207.6 million to the NPS Construction account to address hurricane damage (Figure 1). FY2018 Appropriations Summary Figure 1. NPS Appropriations Accounts for FY2018 P.L. 115-141, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, was enacted on March 23, 2018. The law provided $3.202 billion for NPS, 9.2% more than the enacted FY2017 appropriation of $2.932 billion and 25.4% more than the Trump Administration’s request of $2.553 billion. The FY2018 appropriation included increases for all NPS accounts compared with FY2017 and the Administration’s FY2018 request. It reflected increases to FY2018 spending caps enacted in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123). Outside of regular appropriations, P.L. 115-123 provided FY2018 supplemental funds for NPS in response to the fall 2017 hurricanes. This funding, designated as emergency spending outside of discretionary spending limits, totaled $257.6 million across two accounts. The supplemental funding brings total FY2018 discretionary funding for NPS to $3.460 billion. In addition, the Administration estimated $708.2 million in mandatory appropriations for NPS for FY2018, an increase of 14.4% over NPS mandatory funding for FY2017. Earlier, on September 14, 2017, the House had passed H.R. 3354 (H.Rept. 115-238), with $2.868 billion for NPS. On November 20, 2017, the Senate Appropriations Committee had released a draft bill recommending $2.942 billion for NPS. Because Congress did not enact regular appropriations for FY2018 prior to the start of the fiscal year, several continuing resolutions (CRs) provided continuing appropriations at FY2017 levels, minus a rescission, prior to enactment of P.L. 115-141. NPS’s Appropriations Accounts NPS had six accounts funded in FY2018 (Table 1 and Figure 1). About 77% of the regular FY2018 appropriation went to the Operation of the National Park System (ONPS) account to support the day-to-day activities, programs, and services of the park system. These include resource stewardship, visitor services, park protection, facility operations and maintenance, and support and administrative costs. The next-largest amount, 11% of the regular FY2018 appropriation, went to NPS’s Construction account, which covers rehabilitation and replacement of existing facilities as well as new construction. The agency planned no new facility construction for FY2018, in order to prioritize Sources: P.L. 115-141 and P.L. 115-123. Notes: NR&P = National Recreation and Preservation. Amounts reflect regular appropriations in P.L. 115-141 and supplemental (emergency-designated) appropriations in P.L. 115-123 to address hurricane damage. Size of figures is not intended to indicate direct proportionality. Some 6% of the regular FY2018 appropriation went to the Land Acquisition and State Assistance account. These monies come from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (54 U.S.C. §§200301 et seq.), the primary funding source for the federal land management agencies to acquire lands. The account covers both NPS’s own acquisitions (typically consisting of nonfederal “inholdings” inside the boundaries of national park units) and NPS grants to states for outdoor recreation needs. Of the $180.9 million appropriated for the account for FY2018, $56.9 million was for NPS acquisition and $124.0 million was for state assistance. The federal portion included $10.0 million for grants under the American Battlefield Protection Program, to assist states and local communities in the acquisition and preservation of threatened battlefields from the Civil War, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812. About 3% of the regular FY2018 appropriation came from the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), established by the National Park Service: FY2018 Appropriations National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA; 54 U.S.C. §§300101 et seq.). The fund receives $150 million annually from offshore energy revenues, but funding is available only to the extent appropriated ($96.9 million for FY2018 in P.L. 115-141). From the HPF account, NPS provides matching grants to state and tribal historic preservation offices to conserve cultural and historical assets and sites. Also for FY2018, $13.5 million of the account total was for competitive grants to underserved communities ($0.5 million) and to preserve sites associated with the Civil Rights movement ($13.0 million); $5 million was for competitive grants to historically black colleges and universities; $5 million was for historic revitalization grants; and $5 million was for competitive grants under the Save America’s Treasures program for preservation of nationally significant sites, structures, and artifacts. In addition to the regular appropriation, P.L. 115-123 provided $50.0 million to the account from the HPF as supplemental funding to address hurricane damage. The funds were primarily for compliance activities under Section 106 of the NHPA, to assess potential impacts of recovery projects on historic properties. The National Recreation and Preservation (NR&P) account received about 2% of the FY2018 total. This account funds NPS programs that assist state, local, tribal, and private land managers with outdoor recreation planning, resource preservation, and other activities. The largest single program in the account is for NPS assistance to national heritage areas ($20.3 million in FY2018). Finally, about 1% of the FY2018 appropriation went to the Centennial Challenge account, to support the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund. Authorized by Congress in 2016 (54 U.S.C. §§103501 et seq.), the fund is a matchinggrant program to spur partner donations for projects or programs that further the NPS mission and enhance the visitor experience. Deferred maintenance projects are prioritized. For More Information For more information, see CRS Report R42757, National Park Service Appropriations: Ten-Year Trends, and CRS Report R44934, Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: Overview of FY2019 Appropriations. Table 1. NPS Discretionary Appropriations by Account ($ in millions) Account Operation of Nat’l. Park System FY2017 FY2018 House Enacted Request H.R. 3354 FY2018 Senate Enacted Comm. (P.L. 115Draft 141) % Change from FY2017 FY2018 Supplemental (P.L. 115-123) 2,425.0 2,225.5 2,410.0 2,411.8 2,478.0 +2.2% — Construction 209.4 226.5 219.8 221.7 359.7 +71.8% 207.6 Land Acquisition & State Assistance 162.0 26.4 116.1 175.7 180.9 +11.7% — Nat’l. Recreation & Preservation 62.6 37.0 59.6 63.0 63.6 +1.6% — Historic Preservation Fund 80.9 51.1 75.4 77.9 96.9 +19.8% 50.0 Centennial Challenge 20.0 15.0 15.0 20.0 23.0 +15.0% — LWCF Rescissiona -28.0 -28.0 -28.0 -28.0 0 +100.0% — 2,931.9 2,553.4 2,868.0 2,942.1 3,202.2 +9.2% 257.6 Totala Sources: House Appropriations Committee detailed tables for the NPS; H.Rept. 115-238; Senate Appropriations Committee draft explanatory statement at; Joint Explanatory Statement for P.L. 115-141, Congressional Record, vol. 164, no. 50 (Mar. 22, 2018), p. H2045. a. Amounts reflect a rescission of Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) contract authority. IF10794 Laura B. Comay, Analyst in Natural Resources Policy National Park Service: FY2018 Appropriations Disclaimer This document was prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). CRS serves as nonpartisan shared staff to congressional committees and Members of Congress. It operates solely at the behest of and under the direction of Congress. 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