Federal Government Shutdown Would Close National Parks Across the Country Impacting Family Vacations, School Trips, and Local Economies Nationwide

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   April 8, 2011
Contact:   Shannon Andrea, NPCA Director of Media Relations, P: 202-365-5912 or sandrea@npca.org


Federal Government Shutdown Would Close National Parks Across the Country Impacting Family Vacations, School Trips, and Local Economies Nationwide

Statement by NPCA President Tom Kiernan

“We are deeply concerned about the potential devastating impacts that closure of the federal government could have on local communities, federal workers, and our 394 national parks across the country.  Not only will a government shutdown jeopardize family vacations and school field trips to places like the Statue of Liberty and Yosemite, but it would also have a significant impact on local communities who depend on the economic return of national parks tourism. 

“The National Park Service has 372 events planned over the next week that would be cancelled, including commemorations to kick-off the 150th anniversary of the Civil War at Fort Sumter.  National park educational programs would be ceased, turning school groups away. Park hotels and campgrounds would be emptied for vacation-goers. And the loss of more than 800,000 daily visitors from across the world who typically visit national parks in April—many of whom have planned the trip of a lifetime in the next few days—would cost local communities an economic loss of more than $30 million each day the national parks are closed.

“The budget impasse that is causing the threat of park closures also threatens our national parks, which are already underfunded with an annual operating shortfall of more than $600 million and a growing deferred maintenance backlog. Yet the last short-term spending bill cut national parks funding by more than $100 million.  Our parks should be open, and should not be cut any further.

“Our national parks are critical to supporting the livelihood of businesses and communities across the country, so we have to do more than just keep them open. During a time of economic hardship, Congress and the Administration should be working together to keep our national parks open and funded to protect our American heritage, support local economies, and serve tourists from throughout the world.”

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