Statement by Craig Obey, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Parks Conservation Association
“Today’s economic report released by the National Park Service titled, Effects of the October 2013 Government Shutdown on Visitor Spending and Gateway Communities, confirms the tremendous contribution that all national parks make to our national economy and how extremely damaging the 16-day government shutdown was to our 401 national parks, park visitors, and local businesses. During the government shutdown, we heard from the American people about how important these treasured places are to local businesses, jobs and the economy, and how much they love parks and want them open for business, well-staffed, and fully funded.
“The report shows that shutting down America’s national parks for 16-days in October 2013, which is a peak travel season for many parks, negatively impacted American jobs and the economy. Congress and President Obama must not underestimate how much Americans love to visit treasured places like Yellowstone, the Everglades, San Antonio Missions and the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall – and how much money they spend traveling to our national parks and the surrounding local communities. With nearly 300 million annual visitors that generate $10 in economic benefits for every dollar invested, national parks are economic generators.
“With the National Park Service’s historic 100th anniversary just two years away, now is the time to invest in America’s national parks. This is one of the last opportunities we have to invest in our national parks before their centennial in 2016, to better prepare them for their next 100 years of service and beyond. We look forward to the release of the president’s budget proposal tomorrow and congressional consideration shortly afterwards, and hope to see a strong budget for parks that will keep them open and help local economies thrive, help parks recover from years of underfunding and neglect, put rangers back to work, and begin to repair crumbling structures and park facilities.” (#KeepParksFunded)
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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