It’s about time to start talking about your 2012 RV travel plans. If you plan on staying at some of the more popular national parks, you may want to go ahead and make your reservations now. Please consider adding in some more visits to the national parks in 2012. They could use your patronage now.
Having already grown accustomed to a dwindling budget in recent years, the National Park Service is now facing the prospect of a decade of across-the-board cuts starting at nearly 8 percent in 2013.
What this could mean is shorter seasons at some national parks, staff reductions, deferred infrastructure maintenance, campground closings and reduced amenities.
The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) released a report stating that in fiscal year 2011 the National Park Service had funding reduced by $140 million, including $11.5 million for operations. Since 2002, the report states, the agency’s discretionary budget has decreased from $3 billion to $2.6 billion in today’s dollars.
The organization’s report arrives at a time when the nation is mired in debate over how to trim the federal government’s deficit. The Budget Control Act of 2011, enacted in August, calls for cutting the deficit by roughly $900 billion through caps on discretionary spending beginning in 2012 and ending in 2021. Those spending caps will affect the national park system.
So, even though the nation park system is a tiny part of the federal budget, they will almost certainly be affected. Please do what you can to support our national parks. Plan a RV tour of your favorite parks for 2012!
Safe Travels and Happy RVing!