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2013 National Park visits, spending down

Far less people visited and spent money at North Dakota’s national parks in 2013, according to a new National Park Service report.

About 572,475 people visited national parks in 2013, down from 669,242 in 2012. In 2013, visitors also spent $34.3 million, compared to $39.2 million in the previous year.

The National Park Service supported 72 fewer jobs last year, according to the report.

The report’s authors cited last year’s government shutdown, sequestration and budget cutbacks as reasons for the year-to-year changes.

Patricia Trapp, Midwest Region director of the National Park Service, wrote in a release that the report found each dollar invested in national parks results in $10 spent on expenses