As the seasons turn to fall, many of us here in North Carolina typically head to the mountains of the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests before the cold rolls in. However, as a result of the government shutdown, our national parks and forests all across North Carolina are closed to any and all visitors.
Our parks typically see a flood of [October] visitors who come to experience the changing leaves and enjoy the unique wonders of Mother Nature’s coloring book. Last year, in October alone, 1.8 million people visited our parks. This year they will [be] greeted by closed gates and empty ranger stations.
What’s worse is that a majority of personnel from the Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture are temporarily out of work, halting many of our nation’s critical clean-air and clean-water programs.
I urge Congressman Mark Meadows to support a budget that restores funding to North Carolina’s parks and gives our agencies the resources they need to keep our air and water clean and our parks and forests protected from pollution and development.
— Liz Kazal
Environment North Carolina