Political Football with the 2011 Park Service Budget

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - gatewayThe Leelanau Enterprise reports that partisan politics in Washington are being blamed for a failure by the Senate and House of Representatives to agree on operational funding for the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and other entities in the National Park System. The Lakeshore is Leelanau’s #1 tourist attraction and expects about the same usage as 2010.

Park officials in Empire say they are focused on keeping the Leelanau County’s No. 1 tourist destination open while Congress and the Administration work to head off a potential government shutdown…

Last Thursday, U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland), who represents Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District including Leelanau County, blames Democrats who controlled both houses of Congress and the Whitehouse until Jan. 1. The present federal fiscal year began Oct. 1.

“Unfortunately, the reality is the Democratic lawmakers who controlled Congress last year did not live up to their Constitutional responsibilities, by failing to pass any of the 12 annual appropriations bills. With that, Sleeping Bear Dunes management, along with other federal agencies, now faces an uncertain financial future this year because they have no guaranteed funding,” Camp said in a statement.

While the budget proposed by President Obama would increase the National Park Service budget by almost $138 million, he bill in the US House of Representatives would House bill would cut the 2011 NPS budget by roughly 8% ($218 million).

Photo Credit: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – gateway by BruceandLetty