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National Parks among those affected by possible government shutdown

by Adam Russett on April 8, 2011

National parks such as the Smithsonian Institution and the National Zoo in Washington D.C., as well as national parks across the country will face closure if the government shuts down.

According to Business Week, Utah is a state with many national parks and certain areas rely heavily on revenue from tourism. A government shutdown of national parks poses heavy economic consequences for such states.

About 6 million people visited Utah's national parks last year, which include Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Canyonland national parks.

"Our town relies completely on tourism, so closing the national parks would be a huge blow to our economy. The government always talks about job growth, but doing this would hurt the economy in a lot of small cities. It would be a step backward," Rick Wixom, the town manager of Springdale, told the news source.

Springdale has about 500 residents and provides entry for tourists into the Zion National Park.

The general manager of a local lodge in Springdale, Melva Benson, also told the news outlet that a shutdown of parks puts many people's travel contingencies on hold. Tourists come from all over the world.

The timing could not be worse as April to July are the busiest months of the year for many national parks.

In addition, about 800,000 government workers will be placed on furlough – or temporary leave of absence – if the government fails to reach a budget consensus by today, Friday, April 8.

Other areas that will be affected include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. troops' salaries which support families at home, tax audits, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and admittance of new patients into the NIH hospital, according to a separates Business Week report. 

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