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house Bill H.R. 4680

馃尣 Does the National Park Service Need More Private Donations?

Argument in favor

More private donations to the National Park Service will improve the experience of all park visitors now and ensure that future generations of Americans can continue to enjoy them.

Timmyfenning's Opinion
路路路
08/26/2016
This will not impact our taxes much at all. My tax dollars already go to these parks in extremely extremely small percentages. So yes, more funding is good. This is what our taxes are SUPPOSED to be for.... Not for bombing Syria.
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James's Opinion
路路路
12/04/2016
As long as they remain public land, they should be able to receive as much money as donors want to give. No strings.
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Kevin's Opinion
路路路
12/04/2016
Public funds is the only way to have a National Parks System. Those that want it the most are least able to pay for it. Matching private donations seems a good plan.
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Argument opposed

Individual citizens and businesses shouldn鈥檛 be called upon to make donations to the National Park Service, as the federal government should be covering all expenses.

TuckerWantsLiberty's Opinion
路路路
08/25/2016
There's so much backwards about how this is being discussed. First of all, OF COURSE I'm in favor of private donations to the parks. I love the national parks! They should definitely receive private funding. They should probably receive ONLY private funding, which is to say they should be privatized. What has me saying 'nay' is the audacity of the federal matching of donations - those are my tax dollars! Why do you get to say "For every dollar you put towards the parks, we'll put ANOTHER of YOUR dollars towards the parks!" That's not generosity! You don't get to pat yourselves on the back for that! Just give me back my own money so I can give twice as much myself and cut out the middle man! And another thing: the 'Why Vote Yea' and 'Why Vote Nay' on this are TERRIBLE, especially the latter!
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Kyle's Opinion
路路路
08/25/2016
The national park system should be allowed to look for private donations for sure. But this bill misses the point, we should be investing a budget in the national park system that includes both operations, improvement, and development. If we can barely keep the parks working as is, there is for certain an under investment in our parks. The parks should not be commercialized, they are the responsibility of the nation to care for, we should live up to our responsibilities.
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operaman's Opinion
路路路
08/25/2016
Did you know that it was the railroads that purchased land and created the park system? The railroads needed passengers to view the beautiful land we call home. In fact, they built the famous Yellowstone Lodge Motel. When our National Park System first ran the Parks, they created a fee system that met costs and maintenance, but slowly the cost were budgeted into the Federal Bureaucracy and the National Park System began to relapse into disrepair. Park Fees were held low for the visitors, but the parks suffered. NOW the Bureaucracy seeks private money. Maybe private money is needed, but do we need "Microsoft Yellowstone Motel?" The Park System should relapse not into disrepair but into the states they reside where they can be leased into private companies. Surely visitor fees will rise, but so will the quality of the parks. Private owned parks will seek more tourists dollars -That's what they do. The National Park Service turned 100 years old Thursday, and the Obama administration has set about promoting the value of national parks to Americans and the history of why the U.S. government has set aside millions of acres. But please keep this in mind while discussing this question regarding the NPS: Exacerbating Corruption鈥 $12 Billion In The Hole Wasting Millions Of Dollars. READ: At 100 Years, National Parks Plagued By 鈥楨xacerbating Corruption鈥 And A $12 Billion Backlog By Michael Bastasch
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bill Progress


  • EnactedDecember 16th, 2016
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed December 10th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
  • The house Passed December 6th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Agriculture
      Conservation and Forestry
      Committee on Education and Labor
      Higher Education and Workforce Investment
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedMarch 3rd, 2016

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What is House Bill H.R. 4680?

This bill would establish funds and endowments aimed at raising money for the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service (NPS) while enacting reforms to improve the NPS for its second century of operation. The 鈥淐entennial Challenge Fund鈥 would be modified to match every dollar of private donations with federal funds that would be used for major projects and programs to enhance the NPS.

The Centennial Challenge Fund would also receive revenue from annual parks passes for senior citizens, and a price increase in the NPS鈥 lifetime pass for seniors. Senior passes are available to Americans age 62 and up and cost $20 for an annual pass, while a lifetime pass is currently $10 that would be raised to $10, with the additional revenue going to the Fund.

A 鈥淪econd Century Endowment鈥 would be established within the National Park Foundation to accept gifts and bequests from the public. The endowment would also receive revenue from new fees on lodging paid by NPS visitors, although educational groups and NPS employees would be exempted from the fees. All endowment funds would be prohibited from going toward administrative expenses, and must be used on projects and activities that advance the mission of the NPS and are approved by the Dept. of the Interior.

The leadership structure of the NPS would be modified to make the Secretary of the Interior and the NPS Director non-voting members of the National Park Foundation Board, which would mirror the structures used by the National Forest Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The NPS鈥 鈥淰olunteers in the Parks鈥 program would see its funding expanded from $7 million to $10 million to provide the growing numbers of volunteers with the resources they need to improve the parks.

Impact

Volunteers at national parks; national park visitors; and the National Park Service.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4680

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced this bill to maximize private donations to the National Park Service and establish an endowment for the agency鈥檚 foundation:

鈥淲e want to unleash private philanthropy to enhance our parks. Expanding opportunities for private donors will improve visitor experience and encourage the next century of Americans to enjoy some of our nation鈥檚 most beautiful and inspiring places.鈥

The president of the National Park Foundation, Will Shafroth, announced the foundation鈥檚 support for this legislation and the flexibility it would gain in its fundraising pursuits:

鈥淲e proudly support the National Park Service Centennial Act, and appreciate Chairman Bishop鈥檚 leadership in introducing this important legislation. As we celebrate the National Park Service鈥檚 Centennial throughout 2016, we recognize the importance of diverse and holistic funding to carry out our mission to protect America鈥檚 treasured places, connect people from all backgrounds to them, and inspire the next generation of park stewards.鈥

This legislation was passed by the House Natural Resources Committee on a voice vote, and it has the support of one Republican cosponsor in the House.


Of Note: The National Park Service celebrates its centennial anniversary on August 25, marking 100 years since its creation in 1916.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user akasped)

AKA

National Park Service Centennial Act

Official Title

To prepare the National Park Service for its Centennial in 2016 and for a second century of promoting and protecting the natural, historic, and cultural resources of our National Parks for the enjoyment of present and future generations, and for other purposes.

    This will not impact our taxes much at all. My tax dollars already go to these parks in extremely extremely small percentages. So yes, more funding is good. This is what our taxes are SUPPOSED to be for.... Not for bombing Syria.
    Like (64)
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    Share
    There's so much backwards about how this is being discussed. First of all, OF COURSE I'm in favor of private donations to the parks. I love the national parks! They should definitely receive private funding. They should probably receive ONLY private funding, which is to say they should be privatized. What has me saying 'nay' is the audacity of the federal matching of donations - those are my tax dollars! Why do you get to say "For every dollar you put towards the parks, we'll put ANOTHER of YOUR dollars towards the parks!" That's not generosity! You don't get to pat yourselves on the back for that! Just give me back my own money so I can give twice as much myself and cut out the middle man! And another thing: the 'Why Vote Yea' and 'Why Vote Nay' on this are TERRIBLE, especially the latter!
    Like (93)
    Follow
    Share
    The national park system should be allowed to look for private donations for sure. But this bill misses the point, we should be investing a budget in the national park system that includes both operations, improvement, and development. If we can barely keep the parks working as is, there is for certain an under investment in our parks. The parks should not be commercialized, they are the responsibility of the nation to care for, we should live up to our responsibilities.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    National Parks protect America's history and natural heritage. They should be preserved and never be privatized, and any steps toward making them dependent upon private donates should be stopped. These parks guard oil, natural gas, forestry products and minerals that private companies want to take and they would care not if they destroy the parks in the process. I am in favor of this bill, and strongly against many of the privatizing sentiments I see in the Nay category.
    Like (21)
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    Did you know that it was the railroads that purchased land and created the park system? The railroads needed passengers to view the beautiful land we call home. In fact, they built the famous Yellowstone Lodge Motel. When our National Park System first ran the Parks, they created a fee system that met costs and maintenance, but slowly the cost were budgeted into the Federal Bureaucracy and the National Park System began to relapse into disrepair. Park Fees were held low for the visitors, but the parks suffered. NOW the Bureaucracy seeks private money. Maybe private money is needed, but do we need "Microsoft Yellowstone Motel?" The Park System should relapse not into disrepair but into the states they reside where they can be leased into private companies. Surely visitor fees will rise, but so will the quality of the parks. Private owned parks will seek more tourists dollars -That's what they do. The National Park Service turned 100 years old Thursday, and the Obama administration has set about promoting the value of national parks to Americans and the history of why the U.S. government has set aside millions of acres. But please keep this in mind while discussing this question regarding the NPS: Exacerbating Corruption鈥 $12 Billion In The Hole Wasting Millions Of Dollars. READ: At 100 Years, National Parks Plagued By 鈥楨xacerbating Corruption鈥 And A $12 Billion Backlog By Michael Bastasch
    Like (14)
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    As long as they remain public land, they should be able to receive as much money as donors want to give. No strings.
    Like (13)
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    Public funds is the only way to have a National Parks System. Those that want it the most are least able to pay for it. Matching private donations seems a good plan.
    Like (9)
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    Private philanthropy has played a major role in advancing the national parks and the National Park Service. In the years before Congress routinely appropriated funds for park lands, and later when land acquisition needs exceeded and continue to exceed appropriations, private donations were and are responsible for substantial additions to the national park system. Philanthropy is more than a source of land and money for the parks. It is a means of building and strengthening bonds between the parks and their advocates. While all taxpayers contribute to the parks, those who make additional voluntary contributions will have a special interest in their welfare. The parks and the National Park Service benefit from their devotion as well as their dollars.
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    I feel like this description doesn't have enough to make an informed decision. Will this bill increase the annual budget for the purpose of encouraging private support and providing additional funding in honor of the Centennial or will it decrease the NP budget with a heavier reliance on private philanthropy? My understanding is that this bill will increase the budget and encourage philanthropy, which I am for. However, the description leads readers to believe this bill will decrease the budget and responsibility of the federal government to support the NP. Also, in case anyone's curious, the cap on annual matching funds is $100M/year for 3 years. Details like that would help us make a more informed decision, which is why we're all here in the first place.
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    First, the NPS is unconstitutional ( see article 1, section 8, clause 17 of the US Constitution) therefore the ONLY money that they should receive is private donations and STATE money IF it is owned and operated by the state. The Constitution is quite clear on this if people would just bother to read it. Not even one dollar of federal money should go to any park, or it's employees.
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    Yes, the NPS needs more funding. But it should be coming from the federal government through tax increases or redistribution of funds.
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    The more money we can manage to raise in any way for the NPS does nothing but benefit our country, especially for the generations after us.
    Like (5)
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    The Parks are our National Treasure and we should have no problem maintaining them. Priorities! And no one or company or state should be allowed to compromise national parks for their own profit!
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    Can't wait to see the sign: "Mount Rushmore, brought to you by Coca-Cola!"
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    The National Parks are a major source of the "America" we value -- vast expanses of nature and land that millions of people enjoy each year. To protect them against the pressures of materialistic gain is essential. They need all the facilitation and aid they can get!
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    I have no interest in seeing wealthy donors begin to claim sponsorship of our national parks. The federal government should be providing enough funds to allow the NPS to do their jobs without needing private citizens to step in and pick up the slack for them.
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    No we need less federally owned land and more state and city owned land. It is better managed that way. Please don't try to get private donations for land the feds have neglected to take care of correctly.
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    A BILL WORTHY OF A DEMOCOMMIE LIKE BERNIE SANDERS! Bleed more out of us senior citizens?! Are we not poor enough for you yet?! New fees on lodging?! THIS AMOUNTS TO FORCED PRIVATE "DONATIONS"! THAT SPELLS T-A-X-E-S! The Centennial Challenge Fund would also receive revenue from annual parks passes for senior citizens, and a price increase in the NPS鈥 lifetime pass for seniors. Senior passes are available to Americans age 62 and up and cost $20 for an annual pass, while a lifetime pass is currently $10 that would be raised to $10, with the additional revenue going to the Fund. A 鈥淪econd Century Endowment鈥 would be established within the National Park Foundation to accept gifts and bequests from the public. The endowment would also receive revenue from new fees on lodging paid by NPS visitors, although educational groups and NPS employees would be exempted from the fees. All endowment funds would be prohibited from going toward administrative expenses, and must be used on projects and activities that advance the mission of the NPS and are approved by the Dept. of the Interior. The leadership structure of the NPS would be modified to make the Secretary of the Interior and the NPS Director non-voting members of the National Park Foundation Board, which would mirror the structures used by the National Forest Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The NPS鈥 鈥淰olunteers in the Parks鈥 program would see its funding expanded from $7 million to $10 million to provide the growing numbers of volunteers with the resources they need to improve the parks.
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    Private donations will lead to privatization, which will then be the end of our great national parks.
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    I don't want Verizon to buy the legal right to rename Yellowstone
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