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Updated Dec 11, 2012 - 7:07 am

Fiscal cliff could impact Arizona national parks

PHOENIX — Arizona is home to three national parks, including the crown jewel of the system — the Grand Canyon — and all of them could take budget hits if Congress and the president fail to reach a compromise by year’s end.

Kevin Dahl, Arizona program manager with the National Parks Conservation Service, said there’s no question budget cuts will impact Arizona’s economy.

“We know that for every dollar the federal government spends in the parks there’s $10 worth of benefit locally to people working in restaurants and hotels, all the things that people need when they visit the parks.”

Dahl believes many ranger jobs would likely be cut if a budget compromise can’t be reached. Personnel cuts could potentially keep foreign visitors away because they may be concerned how budget issues would affect their experience.

“You can’t go to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and not hear six to eight foreign languages as people come to see these world-class areas,” Dahl said.

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