Dear Friend of the National Parks,
As of this morning, the federal government has shut down indefinitely. This is a result of the budget impasse in Congress and the inability to come to an agreement on funding for the government at the start of a new fiscal year.
This shutdown has huge consequences for the National Park System: All 401 national park sites are closed.
Park visitor centers, bathrooms, concession stands, and other facilities are closed. Educational programs and special events are expected to be canceled, permits issued for special activities rescinded, hotels and campgrounds emptied, and entrances secured.
Not only are family vacations and school field trips being jeopardized, but the economic well-being of the communities and businesses whose livelihoods depend on national parks is being put in limbo.
Tell Congress our national parks need to be re-opened!
Typically, in October, the National Park System has about 750,000 visits per day, and visitors spend more than $30 million per day in local economies. Every dollar invested in the National Park Service generates $10 in economic activity, and every two Park Service jobs yields one outside the Park Service. The local gateway communities around national parks depend on the parks being open.
The government shutdown is not the first debilitating result of disagreements in Washington on the National Park Service; they have been crippled by compounded budget cuts over the last three years. The budget to operate our national parks, in today's dollars, is already 13 percent less than it was three years ago, a loss of $315 million. In the busy summer tourist season, national parks operated with approximately 1,900 fewer staff members due to the more than $180 million cut in 2013.
Take Action: Tell your senators and representative to reopen national parks and fund them adequately!
Our 401 national parks are treasured by Americans nationwide. They not only protect our national heritage, they are important to local economies, and the federal government has a responsibility to keep them open and adequately funded. Our national parks are not the reason why our government has shut down, but domestic and international visitors, school groups, and local businesses are the collateral damage of a broken budget process.
Director, Budget & Appropriations
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