|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||March 21, 2013|
|Contact:||Alison Zemanski Heis, Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association; Phone: 202.454.3332; Cell: 202.384.8762|
Congress Passes Continuing Resolution, More Cuts to National Park Budgets & Jobs Nationwide
Statement by NPCA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Craig Obey
Background: Today the House passed the Senate version of the Continuing Resolution and sent it to President Obama for signature. The FY13 Continuing Resolution reduces the operations budget of the National Park Service that funds rangers to protect our national treasures and serve visitors by more than $30 million more than the sequester, and makes significant additional cuts to the National Park Service’s construction budget.
“The National Parks Conservation Association is deeply disappointed that Congress has cut funding for our national parks even more than the sequester. From Yellowstone to Gettysburg and the Blue Ridge Parkway, the sequester already cut $130 million from the National Park Service budget and the Senate proposal passed by Congress made a bad situation worse by cutting millions more. These cuts come on top of the 6 percent reduction to national parks enacted over the last two years.
“In the face of news reports focused on the adverse impact the sequester cuts will have on many parks, Congress snubbed park visitors and future generations, and made a bad situation worse. It is hard to find any single government function that has as broad societal agreement among people of all political persuasions as the protection of our national parks. But today’s irrational federal budget process seems incapable of meaningfully responding, other than to compound the problem.
“Our national parks represent a third of the top 25 domestic travel locations, generating more than $30 billion in economic activity and more than a quarter million jobs. When people are looking forward to affordable and inspiring national park visits this summer and are concerned about what kind of experience will await them, these new cuts add insult to injury. Until Congress and the President meaningfully address the major fiscal contributors to our deficit, we are likely to see more penny-wise and pound-foolish decisions to cut investments in our national treasures. We hope that Congress will do better next time.”