National Park Service: FY2020 Appropriations

link to page 2 link to page 1 link to page 2

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.
FY2020 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.
. The
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.
246.3 million.
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.

National Park Service: FY2020 Appropriations
About 4% of the FY2020 discretionary appropriation was
Administration had requested $32.3 million for the account,
for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) account. The HPF
of which $0.4 million was for national heritage areas.
was established by the National Historic Preservation Act
(54 U.S.C. §§300101 et seq.). The fund receives $150
Less than 1% of the FY2020 appropriation went to the
million annually from offshore energy revenues, but monies
Centennial Challenge account, to support the National Park
are available only as provided in appropriations acts. P.L.
Centennial Challenge Fund. Authorized by Congress in
116-94 provided $118.7 million for FY2020, primarily for
2016 (54 U.S.C. §§103501 et seq.), the fund provides
NPS formula grants to state and tribal historic preservation
matching grants to spur donations for projects or programs
offices to conserve cultural and historical assets and sites.
that further the NPS mission and enhance the visitor
Portions of the total also were for competitive grant
experience. Deferred maintenance projects are prioritized.
programs, historically black colleges and universities, and
The FY2020 appropriation for the account was $15.0
historic revitalization, as well as the Save America’s
million; the Administration had requested no discretionary
Treasures program (which preserves nationally significant
funding. The Centennial Challenge Fund also is authorized
sites, structures, and artifacts). The Administration had
to receive offsetting collections from the sale of senior
requested $32.7 million overall for the HPF account.
passes under the Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement
Act (16 U.S.C. §§6801-6814), and the Administration
The National Recreation and Preservation (NR&P) account
estimated that FY2020 offsetting collections would be $1.4
received about 2% of the FY2020 total appropriation. This
account funds NPS programs that assist state, local, tribal,
and private land managers with outdoor recreation
For More Information
planning, resource preservation, and other activities. The
For more information, see CRS Report R42757, National
largest single program funded through the account is NPS
Park Service Appropriations: Ten-Year Trends; and CRS
assistance to national heritage areas. The FY2020
Report R45875, Interior, Environment, and Related
appropriation for the NR&P account was $71.2 million, of
Agencies: Overview of FY2020 Appropriations.
which $21.9 million was for national heritage areas. The
Table 1. NPS Discretionary Appropriations by Account ($ in millions)
FY2019 Enacted
House-Passed Senate-Passed
% Change
(P.L. 116-6)
H.R. 3055
H.R. 3055 (P.L. 116-94) FY2019-FY2020
Operation of the Nat’l. Park System
Land Acquisition and State Assistance
Historic Preservation Fund
Nat’l. Recreation and Preservation
Centennial Chal enge
LWCF Rescission of Contract Authority


Sources: H.Rept. 116-9; NPS FY2020 budget request; H.Rept. 116-100; S.Rept. 116-123; and joint explanatory statement for P.L. 116-94.
LWCF = Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Notes: Totals may not sum precisely due to rounding. Table does not reflect FY2019 supplemental appropriations of $128.0 mil ion in P.L.
116-20 (provided as emergency spending outside of discretionary spending limits).

Laura B. Comay, Specialist in Natural Resources Policy


National Park Service: FY2020 Appropriations

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.
Information in a CRS Report should not be relied upon for purposes other than public understanding of information that has
been provided by CRS to Members of Congress in connection with CRS’s institutional role. CRS Reports, as a work of the
United States Government, are not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Any CRS Report may be
reproduced and distributed in its entirety without permission from CRS. However, as a CRS Report may include
copyrighted images or material from a third party, you may need to obtain the permissio n of the copyright holder if you
wish to copy or otherwise use copyrighted material. | IF11178 · VERSION 14 · UPDATED