WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration’s infrastructure plan includes $18 billion to create a public lands infrastructure fund for the Interior Department. Most of the money would come from revenue generated by energy development on federal lands.
The money would be used to whittle down an estimated $16 billion backlog in maintenance for national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.
The Interior Department has separately proposed $1.3 billion in the next budget year to address the maintenance backlog, which includes more than $11 billion for the National Park Service alone.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the nation’s parks and wildlife refuges “are being loved to death” and need significant work to keep pace with increased number of visitors.
Trump is urging Congress to pass what he’s calling the “biggest and boldest” infrastructure plan.
Trump is making his case as he meets with a group of local and state officials, including governors, state legislators, mayors and country commissioners.