National Parks offer a terrific return on investment. Americans love — and support funding for — national parks, which as the shutdown showed, are critical to local economies.
Congress is about to vote on the president’s new budget which proposes a multi-year effort to fund the parks. Both Democratic and Republican presidents have recognized that the centennial is a timely opportunity to reinvest in our national parks and hopefully Congress will do the same.
In Washington state, 7,529,549 recreational visits brings in $419 million dollars.
Investing in national parks pays dividends, with every dollar invested in the National Park System generating roughly $10 in economic benefits. National parks are economic engines that support nearly a quarter million jobs annually and nearly $27 billion in economic activity. And the average American household pays $2.56 in taxes each year for the Park Services to operate, a little more than a cup of coffee.
Today’s proposed investment provides an opportunity to put that experience behind us and invest in some of the most significant, breathtaking and awe-inspiring places in the world. The public supports national park funding: according to a recent poll, 9 out of 10 likely voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents — agree that funding for our national parks should be maintained or increased. “With the National Park Service Centennial fast approaching in 2016, we call on Congress to now invest in park rangers, American jobs, gateway economies, and the restoration of our national parks for their next century of service and beyond.” (#KeepParksFunded)
Listen to the interview John Garder, Budget and Appropriations Legislative Representative at the National Parks Conservation Association.