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Parks Maintenance Bill Advances

The RV Industry Association applauds the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for passing the bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act out of committee on Tuesday.

This important piece of legislation will help tackle the $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog plaguing our national parks and campgrounds by allocating up to $6.5 billion over five years from current revenue the federal government is receiving from energy production on federal lands and waters, which is not already allocated by law to other programs.

Members of the RV industry recently heeded the call to take action through the RV Action Center by urging their members of Congress to support and cosponsor this bill. The industry stepped up and sent hundreds of emails to key members of Congress. If you have not yet asked your member of Congress to support this bill, please do so today.

The RV Industry Association’s Federal Affairs Team, in conjunction with the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, has been actively lobbying Congress for swift passage of the Restore Our Parks Act and the Restore our Parks and Public Lands Act – a similar bill awaiting full House vote.

These bills are extremely important to the RV community because recent research shows 98 percent of RVers purchase RVs to go camping, but inadequate and outdated federal campgrounds, water systems and utilities reduce visitor enjoyment. In particular, deteriorating or closed roads and bridges negatively impact RVers.

At a time when the RV industry is growing at record levels, RV overnight stays at National Parks have declined from over 4.5 million overnights in the early 1980s to only 2.5 million overnight stays in 2017 due to insufficient and outmoded federal campgrounds and limited RV camping inventory. Campground modernization and expansion is desperately needed across our public lands to accommodate the growing RV and camping industries. Fortunately, this bipartisan bill supported by the Administration provides a much-needed funding mechanism and solution to address this growing problem.

On Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee also approved important legislation to cultivate the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts by providing fourth graders free access to federal lands and waters, a measure to create the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps to engage youth and veterans in outdoor service projects and a bill to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million per year.

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