National Park Service: FY2015 and FY2016 Appropriations Page: 1 of 2
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. Congressional Research Service
Informing the legislative debate since 1914
June 5, 2015
National Park Service: FY2015 and FY2016 Appropriations
The National Park Service (NPS) administers the National
Park System, which covers 84.5 million acres of land and
includes 407 diverse units valued for their natural, cultural,
and recreational importance. NPS receives appropriations in
annual appropriations laws for Interior, Environment, and
P.L. I 13-235 provided NPS with a total of $2.615
billion in discretionary appropriations for FY2015.
For FY2015, P.L. 113-235 contained $2.615 billion in
discretionary appropriations for NPS. For FY2016, NPS has
requested $3.048 billion, an increase of $433.1 million
(16.6%) over the FY2015 appropriation. The agency has
stated that much of the increased funding would address its
growing backlog of deferred maintenance in connection
with NPS's upcoming centennial anniversary in 2016.
Table I. NPS Discretionary Appropriations by
($ in millions)
FY2015 FY2016 %
Account Enacted Request Change
Operation of Nat'l. Park System 2,275.8 2,5 I 5.1 +10.5%
Construction 138.3 251.0 +81.5%
Land Acq. & State Assistance 99.0 I I 7.5 +18.7%
Nat'l. Recreation & Preservation 63.1 54.2 -14.1%
Historic Preservation Fund 56.4 89.9 +59.3%
Centennial Challenge 10.0 50.0 +400.0%
LWCF Rescissiona -28.0 -30.0 -7.1%
Totala 2,614.6 3,047.7 +16.6%
Sources: P.L. 113-235, Division F; House Appropriations Committee
detailed tables for the National Park Service.
a. Totals reflect a rescission of Land and Water Conservation
Fund (LWCF) contract authority.
NPS's Appropriations Accounts
NPS's FY2015 appropriations were spread across six
accounts, as shown in Table 1. The largest appropriations
share-about 87%-went to the Operation of the National
Park System (ONPS) account (see Figure 1). This account
supports the activities, programs, and services that form the
day-to-day operations of the National Park System. The
majority of ONPS funding goes directly to individual park
units. Activities covered under the account include resource
stewardship, visitor services, park protection (including the
U.S. Park Police), facility operations and maintenance, park
support, and external administrative costs.
Figure I. NPS Appropriations Accounts:
Share of Total FY20 15 Appropriation
Total NPS discretionary
appropriation for FY2015:
- Park Operations 87%
.- Construction 5%
.- Land Acq. 4%
-N R&P 2%
Historic Pres. 2%
Source: P.L. 113-235.
Notes: The total appropriation includes a rescission of $28 million in
LWCF contract authority, not depicted in the chart.
NR&P = National Recreation and Preservation.
The next-largest amount, 5% of the total appropriation,
went to NPS's Construction account. The account's primary
activity, Line-Item Construction and Maintenance, covers
construction of new facilities and rehabilitation and
replacement of existing facilities. Projects are prioritized
based on their contribution to NPS "mission factors" and
cost-benefit considerations. The account also covers other
construction activities and planning functions, including
preparation of park general management plans and studies
that assess areas for potential addition to the system.
Some 4% of the total appropriation went to the Land
Acquisition and State Assistance (LASA) account. This
amount represents NPS's share of appropriations from the
Land and Water Conservation Fund (16 U.S.C. 4601-4 et
seq.), the primary funding source for several federal land
management agencies to acquire lands. NPS's share of the
funding supports the agency's acquisitions, primarily
consisting of "inholdings"-lands that are inside the
boundaries of national park units but are not federally
owned. It also supports NPS grants to states-and, through
them, to localities-for outdoor recreation needs. These
50/50 matching grants are primarily allocated to states by
formula. Of the $99.0 million total appropriated for the
account for FY2015, $50.8 million was for NPS acquisition
and $48.1 million was for state assistance.
The National Recreation and Preservation (NR&P) account
received about 2% of the total appropriation. This account
funds NPS programs that primarily assist state, local, tribal,
and private land managers with outdoor recreation
planning, natural and cultural resource preservation, and
other activities outside the National Park System. The
largest single program in the account is for NPS assistance
to national heritage areas ($20.3 million in FY2015).
www.crs.gov I 7-5700
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National Park Service: FY2015 and FY2016 Appropriations, report, June 5, 2015; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc806823/m1/1/: accessed November 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.