The budget-related gridlock in Washington, D.C., has reached Grand Canyon National Park in the form of the so-called “sequestration.” Substantial cuts to National Park Service funding went into effect on March 1st, with no end in sight. The good news is that the park IS OPEN. This will not change unless Congress fails to pass a budget and shuts down the national parks altogether.
Until historic levels of funding for parks resumes, Grand Canyon visitors will notice a number of impacts including:
- Reduced hours at the park’s main visitor center
- Longer lines at the entrance station
- Reduced visitor services, meaning fewer rangers to provide programs and to answer questions
- Scheduled and emergency repairs to buildings and park areas will be delayed
- The reopening of some park roads will be delayed after snow
- Trails that close because of damage from rock slides or weather will take longer to repair
This longtime local is guessing that visitors will still travel to the park regardless of the political climate and cutbacks. The flood of visitors during this week’s first full week of Spring Break is an encouraging sign in this regard.
Please let your elected officials know how you feel about the sequestration in general, and the negative impact on YOUR national parks specifically. Your voice matters. Follow this link for more information on the sequestration’s effect on the National Park Service, including a few quotes from Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga.