Congress is in the process of negotiating a deal to avoid the forced cutbacks to the national budget known as sequestration. If an agreement is not met by March 1st, these spending cuts will automatically go into effect.
This would be bad news for our country’s National Park Service and for our region’s favorite destinations: Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Cedar Breaks.
According to Kendis Gibson of ABC News, the reduction of over $100 million from the National Park Services would result in reduced hours and services such as maintenance and security. (Gibson, Kendis. “Sequestration Would Cause Significant Cuts to National Park Service.” WJILA.COM. Allbritton Communications Co. 19 Feb. 2013. Web.)
More specifically to the Grand Circle region, Zion Nation Park would lose $383,000, Bryce Canyon $162,00, and the Grand Canyon $1.06 million.
In a memo from the National Park Services Director, Jonathan Jarvis said “We expect that a cut of this magnitude, intensified by the lateness of the implementation, will result in reductions to visitor services, hours of operation, shortening of seasons and possibly the closing of areas during periods when there is insufficient staff to ensure the protection of visitors.” (Egan, Lad. “Utah’s National Parks Prepare for Budget Cuts.” KUTV.COM.Sinclair Broadcast Group, Feb. 19, 2012. Web.)
Hopefully, a deal can be made to avoid such indiscriminate cuts.