The National Park Service cautions that impending sequestration budget cuts will result in a blow to local economies.
There are 22 national parks in Virginia, which bring in $541 million annually, according to 2011 data.
The Park Service conducts activities at areas and historic buildings at Prince William Forest Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park, and Great Falls Park, to name a few. The National Park Service offers a list of its activities in the state.
“People who visit parks need transportation, places to stay, and meals to eat – all of which support businesses and provide jobs in local communities,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a statement.
Salazar said mandatory budget cuts under sequestration will result in reduced hours of operation for visitor centers, shorter seasons, and possibly closing campgrounds, hiking trails, and other recreational areas when there is insufficient staff to ensure the protection of visitors, staff and resources.
“Should Congress fail to act before the March 1 deadline, the public should expect reduced hours and services not only at America’s 398 national parks but also at the 561 national wildlife refuges and over 268 public land units,” he said.
For more on sequestration, see:
- Sequestration Bites Dog-Walking Businesses
- Kaine: Sequestration to Affect Education Funding in Virginia
- McDonnell: Sequester Could Force Virginia into Recession