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Alaska's National Parks Have Huge Economic Value, Report Finds

By Garrett Turner, Reporter/Anchor, gturner@ktuu.com
Published On: Mar 04 2014 06:36:00 AM AKST

Alaska's National Parks Have Huge Economic Value, Report Finds

ANCHORAGE -

The 54 million acres of National Park land in the state of Alaska has a value of more than a billion dollars to the state's economy.

"Parks are not created as economic engines, but that's one of the side effects that they have," NPS Spokesperson John Quinley said.

A new report from the National Park Service was released on Monday.

The report details the economic impact national parks have in each state.

In 2012 alone, more than 283 million people visited the 401 federal parks across the country generating $26.7 billion in economic activity which supported more than 233,000 jobs.

In Alaska, Quinley says more than 16,000 jobs were supported by the 2.4 million visitors to Alaska's federal parks.

"We tend to rise and fall a little bit with the cruise ship economy because so many of our summer businesses spend a portion of their trip on a cruise ship," Quinley said.

The unofficial numbers indicate there will be more visitors in 2013 than there was in 2012, Quinley said.