“There are now fewer than 1,800 law enforcement rangers watching out for nearly 320 million visitors at the nation’s 419 national park sites. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a government watchdog group, released figures Nov. 5 showing that the number of full-time National Park Service staff had decreased by more than 3,500, or 16%, since 2011.
“These growing shortfalls compromise the ability of the parks to protect both their resources and the visiting public,” the report states.
Those park employees are responsible for more than 85 million acres of land, including parks, battlefields, historic sites, monuments, seashores and scenic trails. In 2018, nearly 320 million people visited national parks, a number roughly equivalent to the total U.S. population.”