National Park Sequester Cuts

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outdoor_lover
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National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by outdoor_lover » Feb 21 2013 4:59 pm

In case any of you haven't been following this....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fed ... sequester/

Click on the link within that article about the Post's article last Sunday to get even more in depth....I especially really enjoy the last line of that article... :roll:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said. “It’s hogwash. There’s no reason we have to open the parks later. They’re going to have to do more with less.”
Maybe our Senators should figure out how to do "more with less".... : rambo :
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by rally_toad » Feb 23 2013 1:08 am

In response to the Rep from Utah's comments.... Does he even understand how the real world works? Just wow. Keep in mind the parks are already underfunded and have been trying to deal with budget erosion for years. Now a 5% cut at a real weird part of the year and he expects the roads to clear themselves? Maybe he should open Going to the sun road himself?
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by outdoor_lover » Feb 23 2013 3:13 am

It wouldn't surprise me at all to hear that the politicians who voted for this, have never even set foot in any kind of Park, much less a National one... :sk:
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by cactuscat » Feb 23 2013 9:17 am

It's not gonna happen ... like the fiscal cliff, just something to scare people.
Where is the "dislike" button?

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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by nonot » Feb 23 2013 2:55 pm

Uh, does anybody remember what...last year...where they closed the national parks for a few weeks because of funding cuts, and then reopened with limited staff?

The government has invented too many agencies and organizations and can't pay off what they've created. So the future will hold higher taxes with some of these organizations reduced or eliminated.

Since the majority of Americans care nothing more than Big Macs, cable TV, and fancy cars, and wouldn't know of what a national park even looks like, unfortunately spending cuts are in the future for what the members of this board care about.

I'd prefer to see a vast majority of other government agencies cut instead of the NPS, but when you are in the minority in this country, unless you pay a congressman a sackload of money, you are out of luck.
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by Sredfield » Feb 24 2013 8:56 am

FYI
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To: All DOI Employees [Department of the Interior]

From: Secretary /s/

Subject: Update on Preparations for Potential Sequestration

I write this memorandum with a heavy heart as we prepare to implement sequestration reductions on March 1, 2013. I maintain hope that Congress will act and reach agreement on a balanced deficit reduction plan that avoids these senseless cuts. However, with the deadline only days away, we are finalizing our plans and have started taking immediate actions to prepare for the devastating impacts.

The President has stated that the sequester is bad policy and I agree. The sequester is an across-the-board reduction that slashes activities without discretion and will reduce the level of direct services we provide to the American public across the country. It will have a wide range of long-term destructive consequences for our mission and programs – negatively impacting our entire workforce. I promised you that we would share what we knew as soon as information was available. Although we are still finalizing our implementation plans, we expect the following:

All of our 76,000 employees will face challenges in performing their mission. We are facing incredibly difficult choices in how to implement the sequester. I want to be clear that there are no good choices – all of the choices we make have negative long-term consequences on our ability to perform our mission. All of the tools that we are using to mitigate impacts of this indiscriminate reduction will nonetheless have impacts on your ability to perform your mission and serve the American public. We are implementing hiring freezes, reducing overtime, reducing travel, eliminating conferences, reducing training, reducing contracts, reducing cooperative agreements, and reducing grants – each of these has a negative impact on mission delivery.

Thousands of permanent employees will be furloughed. While we are still finalizing our implementation plans, we expect that thousands of permanent employees will be furloughed for periods of time up to 22 work days. The specific numbers of employees and the duration will vary from bureau to bureau and program to program. You can expect to hear more next week from your bureau and office leadership about potential impacts within your organization. Let me assure you that all affected employees will be provided at least 30 days notice prior to executing a furlough or in accordance with the designated representative collective bargaining agreement as appropriate. We will also continue to engage in discussions with employee unions as appropriate, to ensure that any furloughs are applied in an appropriate manner meeting agency mission requirements. If you have questions on this issue, I would encourage you to go to the Office of Personnel Management website, which has helpful information and answers to frequently asked questions regarding furloughs (found at http://www.opm.gov/furlough, under the “administrative furlough” section).

Many seasonal employees will be furloughed, have delayed starts, shortened employment periods, or will not be hired at all. Our seasonal workforce is an essential part of our workforce. Many of our seasonal employees come back year after year to perform our mission. They fight fires, provide visitor services to millions of Americans, and perform vital field and scientific work. Many of our seasonal employees will be furloughed, have delayed starts, or face shortened employment periods. In some cases, we will not have the financial resources to hire seasonal employees at all. All seasonal employees that are furloughed will be provided at least 30 days notice prior to execution of the furlough.

We will be unable to hire the number of students that we had planned – halting the progress on youth hiring of the last 4 years. Our students are a vital part of our workforce today and integral to the Interior workforce of tomorrow. We will be unable to meet our youth hiring goals. We also expect significant reductions to our cooperative agreements with our partners that fund youth work crews and are the foundation for our vision of a 21st Century Conservation Corps. Our inability to hire students and enter into cooperative agreements will have lasting impacts as these young people are forced to find work elsewhere and ultimately make different long-term employment choices.

I want to be clear that the sequester’s impacts will be felt long beyond the next 7 months. Indeed it threatens the long-term viability and execution of our mission. The sequester will compromise our ability to implement the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy due to reductions in oil, gas, and coal development programs. Middle-class Americans who expected to spend their summer vacations at our 398 national parks, 561 refuges, and over 258 public land units will encounter reduced hours and services or even closures. Local communities and businesses that rely on these great outdoor places to support their livelihoods will face a loss of income from reduced visitation to national parks, refuges, and public lands. Basic community services supported by the grants and payments we make to states and counties throughout the country will be cut. We also anticipate reductions in the level of support services to Tribes, which again translates into reductions in basic services to millions of tribal members. Given our large footprint on the American landscape and the diverse constituency our programs support, we expect that impacts to the public will be felt in hundreds of communities around the Nation.

Over the last 4 years we have made great progress by working together to deliver on a bold agenda that is generating significant results and includes reforms of the oil and gas programs, creation of a renewable energy frontier, renewed commitments to conservation through America’s Great Outdoors, a focus on job creation through greater support of the conservation economy, stronger relationships with Native Americans, and high employment levels of youth. The sequester will roll back many of these advances and reduce the capacity we so diligently constructed.

It is my earnest hope that this senseless but avoidable crisis will be averted. Please know that I am working around-the-clock, tirelessly advocating on your behalf and on the behalf of the millions of Americans who rely upon our services. Thank you for your service and perseverance in this most difficult time.



Visit oneINTERIOR for employee news and events - http://oneinterior.doi.net.
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by outdoor_lover » Feb 24 2013 9:04 am

Thanks for posting that Shawn. My job search just got a lot harder and I know that all of this will hit you guys hard...It sucks!!!
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by gummo » Feb 24 2013 9:14 am

Since nobody (except Ron Paul) wants to help decrease the budget deficient by legalizing drugs, then we need to expect a lot more budget cuts and higher taxes.

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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by Jeffshadows » Feb 25 2013 9:32 am

Without going into too much detail...They have already begun cutting staff and are not backfilling positions. The NPS's entire system bydget for 2012 was just under 0.40% of the DoD's. All of us who were in the service know how much $$ gets wasted there on a daily basis. While I'm usually never a propoenent of defense cuts, getting rid of one of the tens of dozens of DARPA research programs destined for failure could probably double the NPS' budget for the next five years.
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by Sredfield » Feb 25 2013 9:37 am

Agree, as we used to say, Interior's budget fits within the rounding-off in DOD's budget.
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by Dschur » Feb 25 2013 10:51 am

Would this have an affect on the opening up of the North Rim of the Canyon??
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by outdoor_lover » Feb 25 2013 11:21 am

@Dschur
Possibly, as they are talking about shortening "seasons"....
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by chumley » Feb 25 2013 2:38 pm

Some new details have emerged as to how the NPS will implement the reduced spending increase (often termed a cut).
New NPS information highlights the following specific cuts at major parks:

Yellowstone National Park in WY, MT & ID will delay spring road opening operations inside the park and to the west, south, east, and northeast entrances. Savings would come from a combination of reduced or delayed seasonal hiring, extended unpaid furloughs for employees, and reduced operating expenses including fuel, equipment and maintenance. Access from the west (from US 20 & 191 West Yellowstone, MT), from the south (US 287/89, Jackson, WY thru Grand Teton National Park) and the east (US 20, Cody, WY) would be delayed 2-3 weeks. Access from the northeast via the Chief Joseph Highway (near Cody, WY) and Beartooth Highway (near Red Lodge, MT) would be delayed 3-4 weeks. Visitor access to Grant Village and Yellowstone Lake would be delayed 2-3 weeks. Combined, these delays will affect over 78,000 visitors, reduce park fee revenue by more than $150,000 and have significant economic impacts to concessioners and gateway communities.

Grand Canyon National Park in AZ will delay opening the East and West Rim Drives and reduce hours of operation at the main Grand Canyon Visitor Center. This will immediately affect over 250,000 visitors. Grand Canyon receives approximately five million visitors annually.

Yosemite National Park in CA, will delay the opening of the Tioga and Glacier Point roads by as much as four weeks due to limitations on snow removal resulting from reduced staffing which will impact thousands of visitors. In 2011, Yosemite National Park had a near record 4,098,648 visitors.

Glacier National Park in MT will delay opening the Going-to-the-Sun Road by two weeks, the only road which provides access to the entire park. In previous instances, closures of Going-to-the-Sun Road have resulted in financial distress for surrounding communities and concessions well into millions in lost revenues.

Grand Teton National Park in WY will close the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, and the Flagg Ranch Visitor Contact Station, for the summer season affecting over 300,000 visitors. Additionally, the park’s cooperating association, the Grand Teton Association will lose $225,000 in sales revenue as a result of the closures.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in NC & TN will close five campgrounds and picnic areas affecting over 54,000 visitors. Additionally, the reduction in staff will result in reduced road maintenance and increased time for emergency responses to activities such as accidents, rockslides, ice, and hazardous tree removal for more than 35,000 vehicles per day on several heavily travelled routes in the Cades Cove District as well as the thoroughfares between Gatlinburg, TN and Pigeon Forge, TN and between Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC.

Cape Cod National Seashore in MA will close the Province Lands Visitor Center for the season due to inability to staff and maintain it. Normal operating hours are daily, early May through late October. This closure will affect over 260,000 visitors. Additionally, visitor access to large sections of the Great Beach will be reduced and restricted in order to protect the nesting shorebirds. The nesting birds require daily monitoring, which a reduced staff could not provide.

Natchez Trace Parkway in MS, AL & TN a reduction in seasonal employees will cause closure of 25 comfort stations one day per week, affecting more than 200,000 visitors.

Mount Rainier National Park in WA will close the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center due to inability to staff and maintain it, affecting upwards of 85,000 visitors.

Denali National Park in AK will have seasonal staff shortages resulting in delayed plowing operations of Denali's spring road, postponing the opening of the Eielson Visitor Center. This would impact over 3,500 visitors per day and would significantly affect revenue for local businesses.
http://www.npsretirees.org/issues-in-de ... ssues.html
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by Dschur » Feb 25 2013 4:43 pm

chumley wrote:Grand Canyon National Park in AZ will delay opening the East and West Rim Drives
So what do they mean by delay opening them.. The East rim is only closed if it is snowy and the West Rim is done by shuttles between March 1st and Dec 1st...Does that mean the shuttles won't run or??
Dawn
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by outdoor_lover » Feb 26 2013 12:30 pm

http://arizonahighways.wordpress.com/20 ... onal-park/

Ya, Happy Birthday to the Grand Canyon! Now, let's see you "do more with less"..... :(

Here's a related link on Yellowstone.

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/ne ... f887a.html
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by outdoor_lover » Mar 01 2013 8:56 pm

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by Outlander » Mar 03 2013 8:19 pm

These are interesting times to be living. Austerity measures and government spending cuts are inevitable; the age of deficit spending is nearing its end game.

Parks and recreation will definitely be among the first to be slashed, and entitlement programs will be the last. It is becoming a nation of makers and takers, with the makers left with mere crumbs once the pie is divided up. We already are being double taxed with user fees, like the Tonto Pass, etc. to have access to the public lands.

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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by chumley » Mar 03 2013 8:50 pm

I'm amazed at how much impact there is on something that is still being increased by a lot. Just not by as much as planned. How is it that all kinds of services will be cut when they are still getting more money than they did last year!?
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by outdoor_lover » Mar 05 2013 2:58 pm

Maybe their revenue is increasing, but not at the rate that the cost of living is...Everything is going up... :?

Here's more on the Parks....

http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/25/politics/ ... -park-cuts
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Re: National Park Sequester Cuts

Post by chumley » Mar 05 2013 4:06 pm

I agree with both of these statements.
But economist Isabelle Sawhill from the Brookings Institution said cuts in cases like this aren't that significant.
"I think almost any organization can sustain a 5% cut in their budget and not have it interfere with their basic mission," she said.
Garder disagreed.
"The budgeting process is completely broken. It's Congress' job to figure out where investments should be made and where agencies should be cut, it's a mindless process and it's not meant to become policy.
My biggest frustration is with the politics behind it. If you have to trim some expenses, do you just eat ramen noodles while watching HBO on your smartphone from your Cancun beach vacation, or do you figure out a way to keep the essential things first?

It's never easy to spend less than you are accustomed to, but it's hard to believe that 5% of a budget can't be "cut" (still more than it was last year), and still maintain its core functions.

And I wish that somebody in government would be a leader and find a solution. It's not a red or blue thing either.

It's maddening. :bdh:
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