What Does Sequestration Mean for National Parks?

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis has instructed Park Service directors to prepare for a 5 percent budget cut in anticipation of a sequester, should Congress be unable to reach a deficit-reduction agreement by March 1. Coming on the heels of 6 percent in cuts over the last two years–and 15 percent over the past decade–sequestration would be a blow to an already beleaguered Park Service.

Jarvis notes, “We expect that a cut of this magnitude, intensified by the lateness of the implementation, will result in reductions to visitor services, hours of operation, shortening of seasons, and possibly the closing of areas during periods when there is insufficient staff to ensure the protection of visitors, employees, resources, and government assets.”Our national parks represent just 1/14 of 1 percent of the federal budget, yet they sustain 250 million private sector jobs and  generate $31 billion from tourism and recreation alone.