Nov 30, 2011

Return On Investment: Making the Case for National Parks

Supporting 267,000 sustainable, American jobs, our national parks return $4 to the economy for every dollar Congress invests. $302 million in visitor spending supports over 5,100 jobs in the greater Yellowstone area. All this according to a new National Park Conservation Association report.

Parks, monuments, seashores, battlefields and more, the National Park Service(NPS) has 397 units in 49 states; nine out of 10 American voters have visited a national park; our parks represent an iconic brand, drawing visitation and spending from around the world. Yet, the NPS budget declined $140 million, better than five percent, in FY2011 and—if the Super Committee fails to reach agreement—could face a nine percent cut in FY2012. All imposed on a system that has been doing more with less for years: In 2010, 1,417 park rangers hosted 281 million visits. In 1980, the parks boasted 1,841 rangers.

“Our national parks are economic generators, each year attracting millions of visitors, many from overseas, and provide great benefit to our national and local economies. We must protect and strengthen our investment in this valuable resource. To do otherwise would be penny-wise and pound-foolish,” said Mickey Robbins of Patten and Patten, Investment Advisory Services.