Posted: Mar 1, 2013 8:34 PM by Dax VanFossen - MTN News
WEST GLACIER - Not finding a resolution for sequester cuts means national parks all over the country will be getting the budgetary axe.
Glacier National Park could see cuts to staffing, closed campgrounds, and the possibility of the Going to the Sun Road not opening on time.
An effort to stop sequestration fell more than short in Congress, and most senators and congressmen have already gone home.
Park Superintendent Kym Hall says cuts may mean job loss, service loss, closed campgrounds, and even a much later opening of the Going-to-the Sun Road.
She said they expect a 5% budget reduction.
"We're projecting around a $682,000 cut. Couple that with cuts we've received over the last few years, we're at about 9 percent less than what we were in 2010."
All of this comes at a time when the number of visitors to the park near record highs.
Hall says they want to be optimistic that things will run smoothly.
"It's unrealistic to think that we can keep going without the public feeling this at some point. We recognize that communities depend on us for their livelihood, you know a lot of folks have visitor-related services and businesses around here and we certainly get that. We certainly think about what our connection is to the community."
Hall hopes that some type of aid will make the cuts less severe, but in the meantime, she and her staff are in the middle of budget discussions.