Editorial: Gateway communities near NPs in Washington hurt by budget cuts

In the Northwest, we love our coffee nearly as much as we love our outdoor recreation experiences. Out of the total federal budget, our National Park System costs 1/15th of one percent. The average American household pays about $2.56 for the national parks annually. That’s like investing in a cup of coffee for places that give us far more than just a short-lived buzz.

While we respect practicing “leave no trace” outdoor recreation methods, it is near-impossible to visit a national park without creating positive impact on nearby communities. In 2012, more than a million visitors contributed over $36.8 million to Enumclaw, Eatonville and other cities that surround Mount Rainier National Park.

full story