Glacier National Park in Montana
Published October 13, 2017
PORTLAND, OREGON – The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) is supporting the care and maintenance of national parks with a new resolution asking Congress to provide dedicated funding to fix our parks given the cultural, educational, recreational, and economic benefits they provide to tribal communities.
“ATNI’s resolution is an affirmation of our Tribal leaders’ commitment to supporting the National Park Service’s unique relationship with federally recognized tribes in stewardship of land and resources, which hold historic and cultural significance to our member tribes,” said Terri Parr, Executive Director of ATNI.
In light of a history of congressional underfunding, the resolution calls on members of Congress to create a reliable and predictable stream of resources to help the National Park Service (NPS) address deferred maintenance at its more than 400 sites across the country, as well as fully funding the Tribal Historic Preservation Office budget. It is estimated that the current backlog of overdue park repairs-include crumbling roads, rotting historic buildings, eroding trails, outdated public buildings, and safety hazards such as deteriorating water and electrical systems-totals $12 billion.
Fixing our parks will help support an important economic engine for our many tribal communities in the multi-state region of ATNI members. NPS reports that during 2015
, Alaska ($1.3 billion), Washington ($526.2 million), Oregon ($97.5 million), Idaho ($30.8 million), and Montana ($547.8 million), park visitors spent an estimated $2.5 billion in local gateway regions while visiting NPS sites, helping to support an estimated 37,625 jobs and providing these states with an economic boost of $3.5 billion.