Sequestration Act Effects on National Parks

Aired 9/3
Aired 9/3
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Updated: 2/25/2013 2:28 pm
On March 1st the Sequestration affecting 12 leading National Parks, including Yellowstone and Grand Teton, will go into effect if Congress doesn't react.
Summer Joy looked into how deep this budget cut will have an impact.

This law that could go in effect on Monday is a 5 percent cut across the board, this means that Yellowstone has to cut 1.7 million dollars and Grand Teton has to deduct $700 thousand dollars from their budgets. Joan Anzelmo, from the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, says this is huge since both parks are in the middle of their fiscal year and there starting to get ready for their peak seasons. 

"So these are big dollars with big impacts to the parks, employees, and certainly to the economy that surrounds these parks," said Joan Anzelmo, the Spokesperson for Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

Grand Teton plans to close the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, Rockefeller Preserve, and the flagg Ranch Contact station for the summer season affecting over 300 thousand visitors. As a result to these closures the Grand Teton association will lose $225 thousand dollars in revenue.   

Yellowstone will see a delay in spring road openings, delayed seasonal hiring, extended unpaid furloughs for employees, and reduced operating expenses.  These delays will affect over 78 thousand visitors, reduce park fee revenue by more than 150 thousand and will have significant economic impacts to gateway communities.

"The impact on the economy of the state, as well as,on all of the community because tourism is deterred heading into Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Then all the communities that are involved with tourism or providing supplies and materials to the parks are really going to feel those impacts," added Anzelmo.

If you have concern about this Anzelmo says that the best thing to do is to speak with your congressmen.

"All of us who live in this area near Yellowstone, in Idaho and Wyoming and Montana care so deeply about our national parks. We enjoy them, we recreate in them, but equally I important they are an exemplar to the world and if you care about the parks, if you want them to be around for another hundred years and beyond that, I think, everyone needs to make their voice heard however they choose to do that," said Anzelmo.     

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