Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota is closing the Elk Mountain Campground for the rest of the year, according to a report Thursday on its website. Closure of the park's only campground, used by 6,600 visitors and their families in 2011, is the latest casualty of the sequestration cuts that resulted in a 5% across-the-board slash in operating budget for Wind Cave National Park.
In addition to the campground closing, the cuts mean reductions in invasive plant control, wildlife management programs, science and research activities, natural resource monitoring, and visitor experiences.
National parks, according to a June 2012 poll of 1,004 registered voters, are cherished by Americans because they embody the American spirit. Communities and small businesses throughout the country that depend on one of the 398 national parks to attract visitors will be hurt by cuts to visitor services, shortened park operating hours, and a reduction in maintenance.
The National Parks Conservation Association encourages voters to reach out to the President and congress to keep national parks open.