National park closures has cost nearby towns $750M, group says

Thursday , October 10, 2013 - 12:32 PM

Shutdown National Parks

FIlE - This April 22, 2008 file photo shows the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills...

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WASHINGTON – As the 10th day ofthe government shutdown looms, more than seven million Americans have been keptout of national parks and $750 million in visitor spending has been lost.

Here is a breakdown:

- 715,000 visitors lost daily (based on October 2012 nationalpark attendance numbers).

- $76 million in lost visitor spending per day.

- $450,000 in lost revenue each day that would godirectly to the National Park Service ($300,000 in entrance fees and $150,000in other in-park expenditures, such as campground fees, boat rentals, etc.)

“These figures are mind bogglingand they only begin to capture the full economic shock of locking up the crownjewels of America – our national parks," said Maureen Finnerty, former superintendent of Everglades and Olympic national parks, and chair of the retiree's association. " Towns, cities, and even whole statesthat depend on park tourism are feeling an increasingly strong pinch. And ifCongress continues to hold our national parks hostage, these communities willsoon be reeling from what is in many cases the main driver of their economies.”

Finnerty added: “The only thing that would be crazierthan shutting down America’s national parks would be for Congress to allow wideopen access to the parks without NPS’s dedicated and hardworking employees inplace to protect the sites. By essentially enabling looting, poaching, andvandalism, Congress would be taking what is already a dark episode in thehistory of our national parks and making it worse, including the theft ordestruction of national treasures of incalculable value.”

The following is CNPSR-gathered data for the lostvisitors, visitor spending, and jobs at risk for 12 leading national parksacross the U.S.:

Acadia National Park (Maine) – 68,493 lost visitors infirst 10 days, $5,263,013 lost visitor dollars in first 10 days, and 3331 totaljobs at stake, including 3147 local/non-NPS jobs.

Badlands National Park (South Dakota) – 26,767 lostvisitors in first 10 days, $656,986 lost visitor dollars in first 10 days, and475 total jobs at stake, including 375 local/non-NPS jobs.

Boston National Historic Park (Massachusetts) – 54,794lost visitors in first 10 days, $2,032,876 lost visitor dollars in first 10days, and 1019 total jobs at stake, including 904 non-NPS jobs.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio) – 68,219 lostvisitors in first 10 days, $1,545,205 lost visitor dollars in first 10 days,and 819 total jobs at stake, including 599 local/non-NPS jobs.

Everglades National Park (Florida) – 25,083 lostvisitors in first 10 days, $3,857,534 lost visitor dollars in first 10 days,and 2364 total jobs at stake, including 1951 local/non-NPS jobs.

Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania) – 27,397lost visitors in first 10 days, $1,796,712 lost visitor dollars in first 10days, and 1141 total jobs at stake, including 1051 local/non-NPS jobs.

Glacier National Park (Montana) – 60,273 lost visitorsin first 10 days, $3,076,712 lost visitor dollars in first 10 days, and 1994total jobs at stake, including 1632 local/non-NPS jobs.

Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona) – 120,000 lostvisitors in first 10 days, $11,750,684 lost visitor dollars in first 10 days,and 6825 total jobs at stake, including 6167 local/non-NPS jobs.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina andTennessee) – 257,534 lost visitors in first 10 days, $23,123,287 lost visitordollars in first 10 days, and 11,766 total jobs at stake, including 11,367local/non-NPS jobs.

Olympic National Park (Washington) – 77,808 lost visitors in first 10 days, $2,912,328 lost visitor dollars in first 10 days, and 1673 total jobs at stake, including 1395 local/non-NPS jobs.

Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho)– 98,630 lost visitors in first 10 days, $9,452,054 lost visitor dollars infirst 10 days, and 5572 total jobs at stake, including 4481 local/non-NPS jobs.

Yosemite National Park (California) – 106,849 lostvisitors in first 10 days, $10,021,917 lost visitor dollars in first 10 days,and 5607 total jobs at stake, including 4602 local/non-NPS jobs.

Zion National Park (Utah) – 72,876 lost visitors infirst 10 days, $3,495,890 lost visitor dollars in first 10 days, and 2401 totaljobs at stake, including 2136 local/non-NPS jobs.

A note on data: Visita

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