Park Service: Sequestration Will Hurt Local Parks, Including Wolf Trap

The National Park Service says sequestration-related budget cuts could result in a reduced user experience.

The National Park Service cautions that impending sequestration budget cuts will result in a blow to local economies because of the hit local parks — like Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts — will take.

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 across the region. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, the only national park for the performing arts, is one of them.

Others include the Oakton Trolley Station, parts of the Great Eastern Trail and potentially the Freeman House, which was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places

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.

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