The recent Memorial Day holiday marked the start of vacation season for many American families. Unfortunately, a favorite pastime for Americans and international tourists - visiting our country's beloved national parks - will feel different this year. The budget for our national parks system has been cut over $100 million due to sequester. These cuts will mean less cleanup, fewer cleared trails, shorter hours and fewer visitors. This won't just hurt our parks - it will harm the communities around the parks who rely on tourism for their local businesses.
Reduced hours and services will hurt the small businesses and local economies around the parks that depend on millions of tourists who visit the parks every year. More than 282 million people visited America's national parks last year. Starving our national parks and the communities that depend on them will harm national and local economies and damage our national heritage.
These cuts mean fewer jobs and less public access to our nation's open spaces. Republicans should stop holding our economy hostage and replace the sequester before we damage our economy and our cherished natural environments any further.
A new report released by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), details the sequester impacts to 23 national parks around the country. According to the report, U.S. national parks supply the economic lifeblood for countless communities across the United States. They contribute more than $30 billion in economic activity, support more than 250,000 jobs and generate $9.34 billion in labor income. The National Park Service faces $110 million in budget cuts, which means reduced hours and services for the nation's 398 national parks, 561 refuges, and more than 258 other public land units.
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