A Statement from Scenic America on the U.S. House of Representative’s FY25 THUD Appropriations Bill
July 8, 2024

Washington, D.C. — Scenic America expresses deep concern and disappointment over the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to allocate $0 for the National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP) in the FY25 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) budget. This marks the second consecutive year that the House has omitted funding for this critical program from its THUD appropriations bill, signaling a troubling pattern of neglect and disregard for a valued and cherished American resource.

The National Scenic Byways Program plays a vital role in preserving and enhancing the scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational, and archaeological qualities of designated roads across the United States. Scenic byways not only provide breathtaking travel experiences but also serve as economic lifelines for towns, gateway communities, and entire regions. By attracting tourists and encouraging travel, scenic byways support local businesses, create jobs, and contribute significantly to regional economies.

Economic studies have shown that investments in scenic byways yield substantial returns. Visitors drawn to these picturesque routes spend money on lodging, dining, fuel, and other travel-related expenses, injecting much-needed revenue into local economies. These expenditures help sustain small businesses and support community development initiatives, fostering vibrant, resilient communities.

“The House’s failure to fund the National Scenic Byways Program for two consecutive years undermines the economic vitality of countless communities that rely on scenic byways to attract tourists and stimulate local economies. We urge the House of Representatives to recognize the significant benefits of this program and restore funding in future appropriations to ensure the continued preservation and promotion of our nation’s scenic treasures.”
Mark Falzone
President, Scenic America

While House appropriators gave nothing to the program in FY24, Senate appropriators recommended $20 million for the NSBP in their FY24 THUD budget. The program was allocated $7.5 million in the final text of the minibus spending bill that was signed by President Biden in March. Scenic America has asked for a $60 million investment in the FY25 THUD appropriations bill which would help restore the program’s economic vitality and provide critical funding for byways programs across the country.

Scenic America calls on policymakers in the House and Senate to reconsider the importance of the NSBP and its positive impacts on economic development and community well-being. By funding the National Scenic Byways Program, we can ensure that these vital corridors remain vibrant attractions that support the economies and quality of life in the communities they traverse.

Tell Congress: Fund America's Byways

After sitting dormant for nearly a decade, the National Scenic Byways Program was revived in 2019 thanks to Scenic America’s advocacy work, fueled by supporters like you. Since then, America’s Byways have received nearly $50 million in federal funding, helping support local economies through tourism and job creation, and protecting the scenic beauty of our highways and roadsides. With budgeting for FY25 on the horizon, the time to tell Congress to fund America’s Byways is NOW!

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Support America’s Byways!