A couple of weeks back I posted a piece about the impact of budget cuts, as a result of sequestration, on America’s national parks. At the time, we had just a few hints as to how those cuts would effect visitors to the parks in the months ahead, but there is still a lot of speculation about just how deep that impact will be over the long haul.
Now, Utah-based photographer Chris Mabey is looking to explore that question more in depth and he’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his project. Chris plans to visit ten parks in the months ahead to capture photos that demonstrate how the budget cuts are altering not only the landscapes of the parks but also the experience for those that visit them. He’s looking to raise just $3500 to get his project off the ground and as of this writing he’s already about a third of the way to his goal with 21 days to go.
As Chris points out, the parks are not just amazing destinations at allow us to connect with nature, they’re also a boon for economic stimulus. As he points out, the parks actually generate about $10 in economic activity in the surrounding area for ever $1 that is invested in them. That’s a pretty impressive ROI, wouldn’t you say? And that doesn’t take into account the park’s importance as part of our cultural, historical and natural heritages.
It is a shame to see them underfunded, particularly when they occupy such a small amount of the overall budget and are so popular with visitors. Lets hope something is done soon to change that.
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