National Park Service’s Budget Feels the Effects of the Sequester
The March 1, 2013 sequester, a 5% across-the-board budget cut to the 2013 federal budget, resulted in a $110 million cut to the National Park Services’ (NPS) budget. Nationally, these cuts mean reduced hours and services for the nation’s 398 national parks, 561 refuges, and 258 other public land units. These reduced hours and services will not only harm the economic value of tourism and outdoor recreation at our national parks, but the small businesses and local economies around the parks that are dependent on the parks’ tourism as well.
In 2011, national parks contributed $31 billion to the national economy and supported 258,000 jobs that generate over $9 billion in labor income. It is estimated that for every $1 spent on national parks, $4 in economic impacts are generated from the 279 million visitors to national parks annually. One in five international tourists visits one of America’s national parks and the parks are one-third of the top 25 domestic travel destinations. In Minnesota alone, outdoor recreation generates $11.6 billion in consumer spending, 118,000 jobs generating $3.4 billion in income and $815 million in state and local tax revenue.