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For release: February 26, 2024
Contact: Emily Thompson, Em************@pr********.org

Coalition Urges Congress to Swiftly Pass a Spending Plan that Prioritizes the Protection of Parks and Public Lands

With a potential shutdown of the federal government looming on the horizon, our national parks and public lands are once again at risk. Congress has only a few days to meet their funding deadlines and prevent a partial government shutdown.

“Our national parks are already understaffed and underfunded,” said Phil Francis, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks. “A government shutdown would be a blow to our parks and the National Park Service (NPS) employees who help to preserve and protect these incredible spaces. Congress must pass a budget to keep the government, including our national parks, open and operational.”

However, the Coalition is also very concerned about the potential for funding cuts (which would be devastating to national parks and NPS employees) and the numerous proposed anti-environmental policies that would inflict further harm on national parks along with their wildlife, clean air, and water.

“For years, our national parks have grappled with inadequate operating budgets and staff reductions while trying to manage dramatically increasing visitation. Further cuts will only contribute to safety concerns, degraded visitor experiences, and low employee morale. And the anti-environmental policies that are being considered could roll back critical safeguards that help protect irreplaceable natural and cultural resources.

We urge Congress to act swiftly to pass the budget. Visitor spending in communities near national parks contributes over $50 billion to the nation’s economy. Congress must not only keep the government open but pass a spending plan that prioritizes the protection of our national parks and public lands, and the well-being of local communities and economies.

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