Death By a Thousand Cuts

America's National Parks System: Underfunded and Under Threat
Released by: Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Our National Parks have been called America’s best idea, and represent the rugged and resilient spirit of our natural heritage.  From our first encounter with wildlife, or first night sleeping under the stars, to our first time climbing to the precipice of some of the world’s tallest mountains, this country’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and waterways are where some of our most cherished memories are formed.  We saw how important our parks were during the government shutdown that left Americans around the country locked out of enjoying our national treasures.  Even though the parks have re-opened too many of these treasured landscapes face increasing threat from underfunding and development.  With FY13 being the 4th straight year of budget cuts to the National Park Service operating budget and the recent budget cuts associated with the March sequester playing a devastating role on the long-term protection of our public lands, Environment North Carolina has released their report titled Death by a Thousand Cuts to help illustrate the uncertain future of our treasured public lands as a result of these cuts, and to provide a detailed state by state analysis of the impacts on the National Park Service and the 401 units they are entrusted to safeguard.   

Here in North Carolina, places like the Blue Ridge Parkway are facing a "death by one thousand cuts." Over the last three years, budget cuts have resulted in the closing of campgrounds, educational programs cancelled, and even access to portions of our parks restricted. In order to preserve and protect the best of North Carolina, we must ensure that our special places receive the funding they desperately need.