Across the country, communities and small businesses that depend on one of the 398 national parks to attract visitors will be hurt when parks are forced to shorten operating hours, reduce maintenance, cut visitor services or close altogether. For communities and small businesses it translates to a loss of revenue streams generated by non-local visitors and the reduced spending power resulting from job loss and salary cuts for park employees and employees of businesses supported by non-local visitor spending.
"Any closures to report today?", asked a concerned fan March 4.
"Not yet," responded NPCA yesterday morning, adding "[Parks] are slowly releasing their plans. We will keep everyone posted as the results come in."
In Pennsylvania, according to a recent National Park Service Natural Resource Report, approximately 8,970,475 people visit national parks in Pennsylvania each year, supporting approximately 1,270 payroll related jobs and 4,858 jobs that are supported by non-local visitor spending.
Dampening the celebration of the sesquicentennial year of one of the most significant battles fought on American soil, sequestration cuts force Gettysburg National Military Park to eliminate interpretive programs, impacting the experiences of 4,000 visitors and 2,400 students.
According to the White House, in addition to park closures, the sequestration’s impact on the environment in the state of Pennsylvania in this year alone could result in a loss of around $5,705,000 in environmental funding that would ensure clean water and air quality and another $1,448,000 loss in grant funding of fish and wildlife protection.
See how protections for clean air and water and our national parks are impacted in other states using the interactive map from the White House website or this interactive graphic published by The Washington Post which lists the White House’s sequestration estimates state-by-state.