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Sequestration Hits Valley Forge Park

Find out what the national sequester issues will mean for national parks in our area.

If heading to Valley Forge National Historic Park is on your to-do list this summer, you might need to double check the schedule. Due to sequestration, parks like Valley Forge may have staffing and hours on the "chopping block."

“Every park in the system would be affected, including treasured places like Gettysburg, Independence Hall and Valley Forge, and the local economies that depend on visitor spending would also suffer,” said Cinda Waldbuesser, senior Pennsylvania program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association in a recent release.

“The National Parks Service is a bureau run for the people,” said Director of National Park Services Jonathan Jarvis. “We are being asked to take a full year of cuts in the second-half of our year.”

Timing Means Cuts Will Be Felt More

Jarvis explained that absorbing a 5 percent reduction in funding will actually feel like a 10 percent change due to the shortened time frame. With the fiscal year half over, such changes will have to happen at a rapid pace.

“March is when we open parks that we usually run in the summer,” said Jarvis. “Places like Independence Hall will have to cut half of its interactive programs. Gettysburg, with its 150th anniversary this year, will have reduced programs, and 2,400 kids will not be able to participate in its programs.”

Sequester Has Already Hit Seasonal Jobs

While many think sequestration was “not to happen,” Jarvis reminded the public that its effects are already being shown.

“These impacts are real,” he said. “Contracts [for summer/seasonal hires] come into place on March 1. We’ve already implemented sequester by not allowing those contracts to go forward.”

The parks system said it will strive not to impact its full-time employees with sequestration reductions in funding.

“Anyone that might be furloughed would get a 30-day notice,” said Salazar. “Thousands of employees will have to be furloughed, some for long periods of time. Decisions will be made this week and next that have a real impact on people.”

Congress has until midnight Thursday to make a decision on sequester.

Obama Remorse February 28, 2013 at 07:57 PM
5% out of $1.6 TRILLION... APOCALYPSE NOW! The orders from headquarters (Obama White House) have gone out to whine and cry about this as much as possible. Remember, the sequestration was OBAMA'S idea. Now he's trying to blame others, his usual M.O. Bush's Fault!! LOL! What a joke he is. We needed a leader and we got a cult.
R Dodd March 01, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Speaking of cults, I would implore you to get your information from more then just Fox News and talk radio. What you posted is nothing more then GOP talking points. Is the president blameless, no. But to place fault squarely on his shoulders is laughable. The mere fact that the thought of compromise with the president could cause a primary challenge from the right wing of the Republican Party makes it impossible to get anything done in D.C.
Kenneth E Tucker Sr March 01, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Since the Reagan administration, most of our nation's income went to the top 10%, and only a small amount to middle and low income families (check google for verification). Yet some Americans have been sold a bill of goods by the far right. In our past, corporate raiders looted our pensions, then our banks decimated our economy. But according to far right billionaires and their associates, the unions, and your grandparents receiving social security and medicare, caused America to go broke. What about the wars that were never paid for? Remember the two $300 payments that President Bush handed out because the govt had too much money? I agree we need cuts, but over a 10 or 15 year period, not all at once. European countries have tried severe cuts, and all that has happened is higher unemployment, lower tax receipts, and increased public assistance because of more unemployed workers (again check google). Why people want to protect hedge fund managers, who pay about 14% in taxes, and oil companies making money hand over fist, is beyond me. I thank the tea party for focusing on the budget deficits, but they have to understand, that to govern you have to compromise. The fact is about half our country believes in raising some taxes and making spending cuts. The other half wants spending cuts only. The only way to resolve this mess is to compromise. This is from someone who is an oil stock investor, and a person who believes in capitalism.
Joe Smith March 01, 2013 at 05:57 PM
work hard, go to college, and maybe you can be that top 10% with Obama, he wants to make everyone dependent on the govt for something...........
Joe Smith March 01, 2013 at 05:58 PM
they always cut the most popular things, just like the govt schools threaten to do, so the sheep in this country will go begging to pay more taxes
DuffDog March 01, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Did Jim Gerlach pack up and go home for the weekend too? That's what should really matters to local constituents. And that's what we need to remember when he's up for re-election.
Joe Smith March 04, 2013 at 10:50 AM
I don't remember seeing his pen signing this thing into action March 1. I saw the monkey sign it. So, what does Jim got to do with it?
Joe Smith March 04, 2013 at 10:51 AM
George Bush 2 is looking better and better.

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