Target: US Congress
Goal: Prevent further federal cuts to the National Parks Service budget
Each year, America’s national parks draw hundreds of millions of visitors. People come from all over the world to see attractions like Old Faithful in Yellowstone, Half Dome in Yosemite, and the Civil War battle sites of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania. The parks inspire awe and wonder and are a valuable cultural asset for the United States.
Sadly, over the past two years, Congress has cut federal funding to the National Parks Service (NPS) by 6%. While this number seems low, the decrease in aid has led to a multitude of problems at the parks: little or no trail upkeep, decay of historic buildings, and a backlog of important maintenance projects just to name a few. At this moment, Congress is again considering the reduction of even more federal funding to the NPS in 2013. If these cuts are finalized, the national parks will face even greater challenges.
With a further budget reduction, hundreds of parks employees may lose their jobs. These employees lead guided tours, collect entrance fees, maintain visitor centers, and hold other vital positions that keep the parks operational. Furthermore, according to the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), a greater decrease in funding could force 150 to 200 parks to close camp grounds, visitors centers, and, in some extreme cases, restrict visitor access altogether.
Our national parks should not suffer because of the nation’s fiscal crisis. The current cost of maintaining parks services is a minuscule percentage of the federal budget. Cutting any more funding will do nothing to curb our country’s deficit and could lead to the closing of some of the most important natural and historic parks in the country. Please tell Congress to finalize a budget that does not contain more devastating cuts against the National Parks Service.
Dear U.S. Congress,
Each year, America’s national parks draw millions of visitors from all over the world. Places like Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon are an important aspect of our natural and historical identify, and generate hundreds of millions in revenue.
The budget for the National Parks Service has already suffered cuts that have posed significant challenges to the daily operations of the parks. Greater reduction in federal funding would not only leave hundreds unemployed, but could force the complete closing of many of our most treasured natural wonders. This fiscal year, please refrain from decreasing funding to the parks even further. The cuts will do nothing to reduce the deficit and could deprive access to our beautiful parks for millions of people.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ivan Makarov via Flickr