From time to time we get asked by readers what can they do to help the National Park Service out? Well, today you can sign a petition being circulated by the National Parks Conservation Association urging Congress to safeguard national park funding.
Mounting a drive called the National Parks Protection Project, NPCA leaders are hoping support from park advocates across the country can convince members of Congress that the parks are not the place to attempt to balance the federal budget.
What is the National Parks Protection Project
Right now Congress is making critical decisions about next year’s budget and our national parks are at risk for additional budget cuts. The National Parks Protection Project is our effort to show both Congress and the American people why it is important to adequately fund the national parks for our children and grandchildren.
The National Parks Protection Project combines profiles of national parks, video, individual stories and an action center so parks supporters can reach out to Congress for support. We agree we must find creative ways to reduce our national debt, but cutting funding for national parks — which occupies 1/13 of one percent of the federal budget — is not the way to do it.
Our national parks not only protect America’s heritage, they are important to local economies nationwide. Research shows that every federal dollar invested in national parks generates at least four dollars of economic value for the American people. National parks support more than $13 billion of local private-sector economic activity and nearly 270,000 private-sector jobs. The federal government has a responsibility to keep our national parks well-funded. The National Parks Protection Project is our effort to explain why.
You can find an electronic copy of the petition here.
Here's the bottom line of the petition:
Yellowstone, Gettysburg, the Statue of Liberty and Everglades are among the many national parks that we --as Americans-- fund to celebrate our natural wonders and commemorate history for all to see. They only occupy one-thirteenth of one percent of the federal budget. That is quite a bargain for a system of national parks we can all enjoy and be inspired by.
Unfortunately, Congress has been cutting the Park Service's minuscule budget. It has to stop. Not only will this mean a reduction in rangers that greet us and help us plan our visits--but it also means the parks won't be adequately maintained. This is not how we should treat our prized lands and sacred areas where we reflect on our history.
We, the undersigned, respectfully ask that you prevent additional cuts to funding for the National Park Service in FY12.