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Utah photographer to document budget cuts on nation's parks

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A Utah photographer is setting out on a new project. Chris Mabey plans to document Washington's budget cuts on national parks.
PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A Utah photographer is setting out on a new project.  Chris Mabey plans to document Washington's budget cuts on national parks.

“It'll be a great experience, but it will be a lot of work,” said Mabey.

This summer, Mabey will be photographing all of five national parks in “I’ve had a lot of beautiful experiences with my family there and learning and just being able to experience the outdoors and I really want that to be preserved for future generations,” he said.

Under sequestration, parks have to slash five percent of their budgets. Mabey said that’s a cut on top of an already dire financial situation. “There's $11 million of maintenance backlog that needs to be performed and now they're having an additional over $100 million of budget cuts this year that they have find ways to trim which already they didn't have enough money as it was,” he said.

Visitors will notice a difference, Mabey said.  “If you're out hiking in the national forest and things like that you might notice that trees have fallen and they haven’t been taken care of yet or there are signs that are broken, these are things in that maintenance backlog,” he said.

After he’s done with capturing the images, Mabey said he'll work with conservation agencies to get them out to a larger audience.

“I'm trying to do this just so people can see what is happening in the parks so that they can speak out to their congressman or their representatives so the national parks don't keep having this problem of having their funding cut,” he said. 

After visiting the national parks in Utah, Mabey plans to photograph parks in Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California. If you'd like to help with his expenses, click here.

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