Posted: Mar 4, 2013 3:02 PM by KBZK Media Center
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - Yellowstone National Park is having $1.5 million sliced from its budget due to federal cuts.
The U.S. government's budget cuts, known as the "sequester," took effect Friday, March 1.
To save money, the park plans to not fill vacant positions, hire fewer seasonal employees, shorten the length of the season for some of its seasonal employees and cut training, travel and some contracts, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said, during a conference call Monday afternoon.
The park's plowing operations will also be impacted, thus pushing back opening dates for park entrances. Plowing will start two weeks late on March 18.
Opening dates will be affected. Gardiner and the west side of the park will open on April 26, instead of April 19. The east entrance will open May 17, instead of May 3. The south entrance will open May 24, instead of May 10. The northeast entrance will open May 24.
The Beartooth Highway will then be plowed and open on June 14.
Wenk said they made decisions when looking at what areas to cut money from. It was decided that the park would not compromise resources of the park, it would maintain a quality visitor experience in the summer and maintain a high quality workforce.
The park will cut $1.75 million between now and the end of September. Its budget for 2013 was $35 million; it is now $33.250 million. In 2010, the park's budget was $37 million.