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SOURCE Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, Washington, D.C.
Impacts Listed for 12 National Parks in AZ, CA, CO, FL, ID, ME, MA, MT, NC, OH, PA, SD, UT, and WY.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the 10th day of the government shutdown looms, more than seven million Americans have been kept out of national parks and $750 million in visitor spending has been lost, with huge repercussions for the economies of gateway communities and entire states that depend on national park tourism, according to the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR).
CNPSR-gathered figures show that the shutdown is resulting in:
CNPSR Chair Maureen Finnerty, former superintendent of Everglades and Olympic National Parks, said: "These figures are mind boggling and they only begin to capture the full economic shock of locking up the crown jewels of America – our national parks. Towns, cities, and even whole states that depend on park tourism are feeling an increasingly strong pinch. And if Congress continues to hold our national parks hostage, these communities will soon be reeling from what is in many cases the main driver of their economies."
Finnerty added: "The only thing that would be crazier than shutting down America's national parks would be for Congress to allow wide open access to the parks without NPS's dedicated and hardworking employees in place to protect the sites. By essentially enabling looting, poaching, and vandalism, Congress would be taking what is already a dark episode in the history of our national parks and making it worse, including the theft or destruction of national treasures of incalculable value."
The following is CNPSR-gathered data for the lost visitors, visitor spending, and jobs at risk for 12 leading national parks across the U.S.:
A note on data: Visitation, economic impacts, and job numbers for the 12 parks are drawn from Headwaters Economics, "Land and Communities, National Parks Service Units, Economic Impacts of Visitation and Expenditures" at http://headwaterseconomics.org/apps-public/nps/impacts/. Topline numbers for NPS daily visitation provided by Coalition of National Park Service Retirees using National Park Service data.
The over 900 members of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees are all former employees of the National Park Service with a combined 25,000 years of stewardship of America's most precious natural and cultural resources. In their personal lives, CNPSR members reflect the broad spectrum of skills and expertise that distinguished their National Park Service careers. CNPSR members now strive to apply their credibility and integrity as they speak out for national park solutions that uphold law and apply sound science. The Coalition counts among its members: former national park deputy directors, regional directors, superintendents, rangers and other career professionals who devoted an average of nearly 30 years each to protecting and interpreting America's national parks on behalf of the public. For more information, visit the CNPSR Web site at:
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