Deferred Maintenance

Deferred Maintenance at the NPS

The National Park System tells the story of remarkable people and events in our nation’s rich history at sites as diverse as Gettysburg National Military Park, Independence Hall, the Statue of Liberty, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, and Native American cultural sites like Mesa Verde National Park. Unfortunately, inconsistent public funding has resulted in an infrastructure repair backlog of about nearly $12 billion dollars, and many of the National Park Service’s most significant historic sites are at risk of falling into disrepair.

The Great American Outdoors Act

In early March, the Senate introduced the Great American Outdoors Act, which would invest in repairs of historic and other assets in national parks and other public lands, as well as fully fund the Lad and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Join us in asking your Senators to support and vote for the Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422) when it comes to the Senate floor.

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About Our Work

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has joined with the Pew Charitable Trusts on their Restore America’s Parks campaign to seek a reliable, dedicated federal funding source to address the deferred maintenance backlog. Such funding will ensure that we preserve historic buildings and sites, maintain buildings and infrastructure in safe condition, and that parks remain open and accessible so that the public can continue to learn from and experience the stories that tell our nation’s history.

The Great American Outdoors Act

In early March, the Senate introduced the Great American Outdoors Act. If enacted, this legislation would be the single largest federal investment in preservation of historic and cultural resources for public lands in our generation, and it would provide the support necessary to ensure America’s historic places are saved for generations to come. This historic legislation combines two important bills: one supporting dedicated funding for deferred maintenance of the National Park Service and other federal agencies, and one supporting full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

We expect this bill to come to the Senate floor for a vote as early as the week of June 8. Please contact your Senators and ask them to vote yes on this historic piece of legislation

 One-pagers and Resources

As you’re speaking about the importance of addressing the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks, consider using these PDF resources from our partners at The Pew Charitable Trusts. Loaded with data and examples, these documents can help you make your case and tell your story.


The National Trust HOPE Crew initiative partners with youth corps programs to bring thousands of crew members to work on hundreds of sites, learning preservation craft skills while rehabilitating historic places.


The National Trust advocates for robust funding by Congress of the Repair and Rehabilitation and Cyclic Maintenance accounts in the annual Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill. These accounts are essential to a service-wide deferred maintenance strategy to address the backlog.


AMEX Partners in Preservation

The Partners in Preservation program in collaboration with National Geographic and American Express awarded $2 million in grants – as decided by popular vote – to support vital funding needs at historic sites in our national parks.


Webinar: Deferred Maintenance in Our National Parks

The National Park Service celebrated its centennial on August 25th, 2016. Unfortunately, inconsistent public funding has resulted in a deferred maintenance backlog estimated to be about $12 billion dollars (FY 2015), of which over $3 billion is attributed to historic structures and sites. Join this policy webinar to learn more about how you can ask Congress for a reliable, dedicated federal funding source to ensure the preservation of these vulnerable historic buildings and cultural sites. View the archived call in our webinar library.


The Maintenance Backlog at Revolutionary War National Parks

"Something clicks with children when they see a physical place where something happened,” states Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance in this video produced by the National Parks Conservation Association. The video, entitled The Maintenance Backlog at Revolutionary War National Parks, vividly illustrates the need to invest in the historic buildings and cultural sites in our nation’s parks.