Lack of Congressional action will hurt National Parks

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. -- The beauty of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore stretches for miles.

Right now, the shoreline is empty, but in just a few months, it'll be booming.

"They come here to go jogging on a path, walk their dog, go swimming in the lake, and just find some quiet solitude out here away from their everyday lives," Bruce Rowe, a park ranger, said.

Rowe said that beauty will always exist, but if Congress isn't able to reach a budget deal soon, part of the Dunes' funding will blow away.

"$450,000 will have a big impact on what vistors see or experience here at the National Park," Rowe said.

Things like delayed openings, closures, staff changes and maitenance.

With more than 16,000 acres to maintain, a half-million dollar cut could do serious damage.

"We'll do our best to make the impacts on the visitor as minimal as possible," Rowe said. "But with this level of cut, we can't eliminate them all."

Even worse, a lack of Congressional action won't just affect the park.

Neighboring communities like Michigan City depend on the two million annual visitors to spend money locally.

"There's a lot at stake," Rowe said. "We'll be watching what happens very closely."

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