Dear you can see the damage that these fires

Dear President Trump, The preservation of land in our country must be made a priority. Just this year, you proposed a bill regarding the cuts of the budgets in the National Park Service. In this proposal, you have asked for cuts to staff, maintenance, and more. These actions would cause parks having fewer open hours, less staff, and less serviceable land for outdoor activities. These budget cuts could cause many Americans to lose out on some of our great national parks all because of our government’s plan to save some money. President Trump, this proposal needs to be removed as soon as possible. This plan needs to be removed because accepting it could lead to many Americans losing jobs, fewer open hours in the parks, and crucial maintenance to be relegated.  Mr. Trump, you are known as someone who believes in lowering the unemployment rate in America, yet with this proposal, many hard-working Americans could lose their jobs. This plan calls for about a 7 percent cut in full-time staff in the NPS also known as the National Park Service. Although 7 percent may not sound like a lot, that equates to almost 1,500 workers being laid off. This could be an issue because just last year in 2016, a record 330 million visitors were welcomed into the park. With the shortage of workers, many jobs that are required for a park to stay efficient such as: rangers, maintenance workers, firefighters, and education professionals (National Park Service). Imagine if there was a fire that struck through Yellowstone National Park, yet there were not enough firefighters on staff to immediately control the fire? The results could be catastrophic. The fire could spread rapidly, posing threats to the habitat of wildlife and could endanger the safety of people in the surrounding areas. Although this situation is hypothetical, you can see the damage that these fires can produce through the Los Angeles fires that have made news recently. Many people and animals were either killed or lost their homes during this fire. Cutting other jobs such as rangers and education professionals would also have a negative impact on our National Parks. Rangers in the park take up the many tasks of security, guides, and the first responders of the park. Removing them from their jobs could pose risks to the safety of the park’s visitors. This could lead to careless visitors getting lost in the vast acreage of the parks, and with fewer rangers, it will take much longer for them to respond to emergencies that may occur within the park. Finally, the last profession that will be affected by the budget cuts would be maintenance workers. This brings on the next topic, relegated maintenance.Our parks require many types of maintenance, such as trail clearings, road sustaining, water systems such as dams, and the preservation of historic infrastructure in the parks. In the budget plan, you have proposed to defer almost 12 billion dollars worth of maintenance backlog. (Baran). Deferring this much maintenance will eventually cause more and more problems to build up. Failing to fix these problems will cause the quality of the parks to decrease. With this deference, the parks will be forced to shut down large portions of their land so they can keep the visitors safe. We can see how this backlog is affecting national parks such as; Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone. These three parks rank as the second, third, and sixth most visited parks respectively and brought in a combined 15.5 million visitors in just this past year alone (National Geographic). However, these three parks have some of the highest maintenance backlogs. Grand Canyon currently has a $372 million backlog, while Yosemite has a $555 million deference, and Yellowstone has a whopping $640 million dollar bill (Belt). If we fail to provide the proper funding for this maintenance, this, along with possible cutting of maintenance workers, will make large portions of these parks unusable in the near future. The quality of the infrastructure in the parks will begin to decline, and this, in turn, will cause the educational and entertainment values to decrease. With less and fewer people finding the parks interesting and educational, this will lead to a reduction of visitors per year to the park. Fewer hours in the park is another thing that will be affected due to the proposed budget. This is caused because of the other major issues in the budget, job cuts, and deferred maintenance. With fewer workers and less land to cover, the parks will have no other choice than to cut the hours. The loss of open hours also affects the amount of money that the government will be making from the parks. The budget also would cause the admission prices to skyrocket from about $10 to $30 or even more (Walmsley). Less hours in the park and higher admission fees could potentially scare away visitors who believe that they would be cheated out of the whole park experience. According to Time Magazine, the national parks are worth over 92 billion dollars, which is greater than the total GDP of countries such as Ukraine and Sri Lanka (Close). The US Government should take advantage of our most underappreciated resource and put more money into it not less. If this proposal is removed, the parks will be able to stay open longer and have regular fees, which will definitely keep the flow of visitors steady.  Overall, our national parks have been proven to be crucial parts of our country, as they provide us with educational and enjoyable experiences that are unmatched by any other parks. This proposal is detrimental to the parks and could eventually lead to their downfall. President Trump, if this proposal is not repealed, this will most certainly equate to the firing of workers, maintenance to be deferred, and for hours of the park to be shortened. As a future voter, I am asking for you to reconsider your proposal and to take a second look at how this may affect our parks. I believe in the parks as one of America’s finest things to offer, and you have the power to help them retain that title by fixing the budget proposal.


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