Grand Teton National Park fears “fiscal cliff” cuts

Dec 14, 2012

Mount Moran reflected in Jackson Lake, at Grand Teton National Park.

Maintenance and services at National Parks could suffer if the U.S. government goes over the fiscal cliff. The National Parks Service could lose $190 million, which means thousands of seasonal park rangers – many of whom are necessary for search and rescue operations – might not be hired.

Sharon Mader of the National Parks Conservation Association says Grand Teton National Park is already operating on a bare-bones budget.

We have $200 million of deferred maintenance resulting in crumbling roads, outdated facilities, such as an inadequate septic wastewater treatment at Moose that could potentially threaten the water quality of the Snake River. So there’s many issues that have not been dealt with already.

Mader worries that the cuts could discourage visitation.

These visitors bring in $420 million as of last year, you know, great supporting our gateway communities and our economy here in Wyoming. So, it’s a serious economic concern to our state as well.

Mader adds that 6,000 jobs in Wyoming depend on National Parks and gateway communities.

She adds that the presence of National Parks accounts for 6-thousand jobs in the parks and in the gateway communities in Wyoming.