ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4)– As the March 1 deadline for sequester, an $85 billion reduction in defense and domestic spending looms closer, Rocky Mountain National Park is getting ready.
The park is preparing to do business with more than $600,000 slashed from its budget if the sequester deadline passes without a resolution.
“Right now with sequestration right around the corner, we’re having to back off on our seasonal training,” said Rocky Mtn. National Park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson.
She said the cuts in staffing will be noticed by visitors. Some changes include the closure of the Moraine Visitor Center.
“We would close down that visitor center first and then if the sequestration continues we’d look at what it looks like for our scheduling and operations of our main visitor centers,” said Patterson.
The Glacier Basin Campground is closed right now because of road construction. It may not open at all this summer because of the budget cuts which would cut 140 campsites from the park.
“If this continues to go on then we’d have to look at closing some of the other campgrounds as well because we staff our campgrounds with seasonal staff,” said Patterson.
Rocky Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in Colorado. Last year the park saw 3.2 million visitors.
Those visitors are vital to the economy in Estes Park and Grand View. Patterson is worried the sequestration could detour tourists.
“They rely and their visitation hinges on, their business hinges on how healthy Rocky Mountain National Park is as far as visitation is concerned,” said Patterson.
Patterson said they are waiting to see what happens, “When we hear that we might not be able to provide those same types of services, it’s disappointing because that’s what we do.”