National Parks struggle financially as number of visitors drops

Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo.

Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo.

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DENVER -- Summer is coming to an end and some of the country's national parks are struggling.

Places that are usually thought of as the most popular summer destinations like Rocky Mountain National Park and the Grand Canyon have seen a lower number of tourists than expected this year.

Officials say the parks are seeing a big funding shortfall. They blame part of the problem on the government shutdown that took place in October 2013 when parks had to close for several days.

But the problem goes even deeper. "We have not received adequate appropriations in order to keep even," says National Parks Director Jonathan Jarvis.

Next quarter, the national parks will launch a centennial campaign to promote 100 years of existence.

Officials will invite visitors to bring their smart phones and share their stories as part of a social medial campaign called "Find Your Park."


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