Fiscal Cliff Threatens Severe Budget Cut for National Park Service

By Beacon Staff

If large tax cuts that were passed in 2001 and 2003 expire in January, sending the U.S. over the “fiscal cliff,” the National Park Service budget would automatically be cut by more than $200 million, according to the National Parks Conservation Association.

The NPCA penned an open letter petition urging President Obama and the U.S. Congress to reach a budget deal before the upcoming deadline passes and delivers a “devastating blow” to national park sites across the U.S. The organization also placed a full-page advertisement in the New York Times punctuating the situation.

The letter points out that the NPS budget has already been shrinking every year. The fiscal cliff could force several drastic changes at sites across the nation, the NPCA wrote.

“That could mean some level of closure at virtually every national park in the system, including reductions in park hours or seasons, closures of campgrounds or visitor’s centers, and even the outright closure of many parks in the next year,” the NPCA letter states. “And it could eliminate as many as 9,000 rangers who serve the public, protect our parks, and keep the parks running—a devastating blow.”

National park sites attract roughly 280 million visitors each year.

For a better understanding of how the nation arrived at the fiscal cliff, here’s a New York Times article that explains the situation.

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