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President Trump proposes 12 percent budget cut for the Department of Interior

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Places like right here at Giant Springs State Park - a place considered a gate to our national parks, rely on those tourism dollars.

There's a place to drop your visitation fee if your from outside the Treasure State . But if those budget cuts actually come through those tourists could stop coming here as well...

According to a study done by the University of Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation over the course of two years non-residents spent close to four billion dollars in Montana.

On the National Park Service website in 2015 visitor spending came to just below 200 million dollars in Glacier Park alone. 

In Yellowstone National Park  they hit nearly 500 million in visitor spending. The data includes things like camping, gas, and hotels in the area.  

Rebecca Engum Executive Director to Great Falls Montana tourism said about eight percent of the economy relays on those tourism dollars. 

Last year alone we had over 250 million dollars spent in our local economy and its not just on lodging. About 20 percent is spent on restaurants, retail, fuel. 

She said in 2016  over 1 million people came to Great Falls and spent the night. Now they don't know what the destination of those visitors were but that data tells them. Great Falls is a jumping off point to different places around the state. 

Phil Francis is the vice chair to the "Coalition to Protect America's National Parks".
He said the current budget isn't keeping up with the cost to maintain the parks.

"40 years ago about 70 percent of the parks budgets paid for personnel and the remainder of the budget went to utilities but over the last forty year that 70 percent for personal  has risen to 90  percent ."

Even with visitation rising to 330 million visitors nationally he said the proposed cuts will be detrimental.

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