Today marks the 96th birthday of the National Park Service, the organization charged with managing all of America’s national parks, monuments and other historically important properties. While this date is certainly a cause for celebration, it is also one for caution as well. As budget cuts loom, the NPS faces some big challenges as it prepares to move into its second century. In January of next year, the Park Service could see as much as 10% of its budget cut, which could lead to closures of visitor centers, campgrounds and possibly even parks themselves.
With those challenges in mind, the National Parks Conservation Association has put together an interesting infographic that spells out just how important the parks are to the U.S. economy and to travelers. You’ll find this eye-opening infographic after the jump.