As you might well imagine, I love our national parks. Unfortunately, in these times of budget cuts, that argument is simply not enough when it comes to keep the financial support coming to our national parks. What many people fail to realize, and what is often not expressed when it comes to the funding fights for national parks, is that national parks also provide a huge economic benefit. As part of the 96th birthday of the National Park Service, the National Parks Conservation Association has released an infographic that sums up some of the economic benefits that our national parks provide.
I encourage you to do more than simply look at the economic information provided, but take some notes and contact your congressional representative. Let them know that you strongly support the continued funding of national parks not only for the beauty they provide, but because of the economic benefits they provide.
As the inforgraphic plainly states at the very top:
After two years of declining funding, national parks now face the prospect of additional cuts, including the looming threat of the “sequester” schedule of January 2013. If Congress doesn’t agree on a deficit reduction plan, the Park Service could face cuts up to 10 percent. That would mean closed visitor centers, closed campgrounds, closed parks and thousands of park staff out of a job.
If you love our National Parks, take the time this summer to do something to make sure that the remain a part of future generation lives. With the constant budget battles being waged in Washington DC, it’s important to let Congress know what the National Parks mean to us as a nation. The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) wants to pass your National Parks messages onto the members of Congress and they are asking for your help.
When you visit a National Park this summer (you can start on June 21 when it’s a Free National Parks day), take your camera or video recorder along to document your visit. Then send the NPCA your photos, videos and stories about why National Parks are important to you to [email protected] The NPCA will be posting select images they receive to the National Parks Protection Project website and passing them onto those in Congress.
In order for National Parks to remain funded, it’s essential for Congress to know that the people that visit them view them as an important part of our history and culture. Your photos, videos and personal stories are an important way to show Congress why America’s natural and cultural heritage should continue to be protected for future generations. For places that give so much to our lives, please consider sharing your story to help ensure that others can have the same experiences decades from now.
You can also lend your voice by signing a petition telling Congress to stop cuts to the national Parks budget.