Park Service losing $76 million a day in shutdown

THIS LAND IS OUR LAND: A few hundred veterans, families and supporters participate in a “March on the Memorials” Sunday in Columbia Park in Kennewick, Wash.
article top
THIS LAND IS OUR LAND: A few hundred veterans, families and supporters participate in a “March on the Memorials” Sunday in Columbia Park in Kennewick, Wash.

By Kenric Ward |

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Every day that America’s national parks remain shut down, $76 million is lost at the “Barrycades.”


Last year, the country’s 410 parks and monuments hosted 715,000 visitors a day. Turned away by padlocked gates and officious orange cones, the flow of tourists has dwindled to a trickle – and so has the revenue.

In addition to the $76 million in lost daily visitor spending, $450,000 in daily campground fees and boat rentals has also dried up, according to data compiled by a Park Service organization.

“These figures are mind-boggling and only begin to capture the full economic shock of locking up the crown jewels of America,” groused Maureen Finnerty, president of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

But not to worry, though. The Statue of Liberty, one of the NPS’ top money makers, re-opened over the weekend, but only after New York state taxpayers’ ponied up the money.

Magnanimously, the NPS said barricades will come down at other national sites, too — if states cough up enough money.

So where’s the savings in this shutdown? Certainly not at the national parks.

And, really, nowhere else, since furloughed federal employees, including park rangers, are due to receive full back pay when they finally return to duty.

See a breakdown of the national parks and their losses here.

Also, read Federal tourist blockades called ‘vindictive’ in Virginia.

Kenric Ward is a national reporter for and chief of the Virginia Bureau. Contact him at or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward



Previous articleHighest US Military Honor Presented for Bravery In Afghanistan
Next How Hawaii’s elected officials voted – October 15, 2013 is a collection of independent journalists covering state-specific and local government activity. The program began in September 2009, the brainchild of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting new media journalism. The project provides established investigative journalists with a platform to publish their work. It also affords reporters across the country an opportunity to share information, investigative techniques and resources. By enhancing communication between reporters, the consortium hopes to promote a vibrant 4th Estate, a well-informed electorate and a more transparent government. utilizes a state-specific approach, in order to provide readers with information that is of proximate and practical interest. Interested parties can contact for more information. The Franklin Center is not responsible for the information that appears on the watchdog sites. The organization serves as a capacity builder and networking agent for independent, state-based journalists and organizations. Journalists or organizations interested in joining the watchdog network can contact us at