NPCA Acting President Theresa Pierno made a statement earlier today regarding the government shutdown and its effects on our national parks. A video of this statement is now available below.
The government shutdown has forced the National Park Service to close park entrances, visitor centers, campgrounds, bathrooms, concession stands, and other park facilities. Education programs and special events have been canceled, permits issued for special activities rescinded, hotels and campgrounds emptied, and entrances secured. Many national parks have also been forced to close during peak visitation season, including places such as Acadia and the Great Smoky Mountains where people enjoy the fall foliage and Civil War sites that attract school groups. The loss of more than 750,000 daily visitors from around the world may cost local communities as much as $30 million each day the national parks are closed.
See our recent FAQ for more details on how the shutdown is already affecting national parks.
Whether it’s a senseless government shutdown or a damaging set of budget cuts, national parks and the people who enjoy and depend on them continue to suffer from a failed budget process. After hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts to the parks the last few years, we have two questions for Washington—when are you going to reopen the parks, and what will you do to repair the damage this budget process has already done? Our national parks should be open, and funding should be restored to provide visitors with safe and inspiring experiences.
As we approach the centennial of our national parks in 2016, on behalf of our 800,000 members and supporters, and families and businesses throughout the nation, NPCA calls on Congress and the president to swiftly re-open our national parks to visitors, and to agree to a budget that ends these indiscriminate cuts to the National Park Service.
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You can urge your members of Congress to re-open parks and support full funding for the Park Service by taking action on NPCA’s website.
About the author
Jennifer Errick Managing Editor of Online Communications
Jennifer writes, edits, and moderates online content for NPCA.