February 9, 2016
Contact: Aly Baltrus
Springdale, UT- The National Park Service (NPS) has released its Fiscal Year 2015 deferred maintenance statistics for national parks. The $11.9 billion nationwide total was up from the $11.49 billion reported at the end of FY2014. Zion National Park's backlog of deferred maintenance projects totals $69,848,827.
Deferred maintenance is necessary work on infrastructure such as roads and bridges, visitor centers, trails, and campgrounds that has been put off for more than a year. At Zion, aging facilities, increasing park visitation, and insufficient maintenance funding contribute to the growing backlog. "Visitation has grown by more than 660,000 in just three years, and nearly 1 million over the past five years" says Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. "This is impacting roads, trails, restrooms and other facilities like never before."
Zion National Park is beginning a Visitor Use Management planning process to address increasing visitation to assure that the exemplary visitor experience is maintained, park resources are conserved and facilities are adequate to meet visitor needs.
Congressional funding for the National Park Service in 2016 includes an additional $90 million for non-transportation maintenance. Congress also passed a new highway bill which will provide a $28 million increase for transportation projects in parks this year. Funding included in the legislation for transportation-related maintenance and construction will continue to rise, by $8 million per year for five years, until it reaches $300 million per year in 2020 for parks across the nation. "The National Park Service celebrates its Centennial this year, and as we embark on our second century of service to the American people, we need to ensure our infrastructure can safely accommodate guests, contributes to protecting the park's extraordinary resources and provides the best possible visitor experience," says Superintendent Bradybaugh.