Congress Passes Continuing Resolution, Cutting National Park Service Funding Even More

While Congress averted a federal government shutdown by sending a Continuing Resolution for funding the rest of the fiscal year to the president on Thursday, the measure further cuts the National Park Service's budget, according to an advocacy group.

The funding measure cuts the Park Service's current-year budget by more than $30 million on top of the 5 percent across-the-board budget sequestration doled out earlier this month, according to the National Parks Conservation Association.

“The National Parks Conservation Association is deeply disappointed that Congress has cut funding for our national parks even more than the sequester. From Yellowstone to Gettysburg and the Blue Ridge Parkway, the sequester already cut $130 million from the National Park Service budget and the Senate proposal passed by Congress made a bad situation worse by cutting millions more," said Craig Obey, NPCA's senior vice president of government affairs. "These cuts come on top of the 6 percent reduction to national parks enacted over the last two years.

"In the face of news reports focused on the adverse impact the sequester cuts will have on many parks, Congress snubbed park visitors and future generations, and made a bad situation worse," he added in a prepared statement. "It is hard to find any single government function that has as broad societal agreement among people of all political persuasions as the protection of our national parks. But today’s irrational federal budget process seems incapable of meaningfully responding, other than to compound the problem."

How this additional funding reduction is handled by the Park Service through the remaining six months of FY13 remains to be seen. Already parks such as Yellowstone and Acadia have announced delayed spring openings, while others have said some campgrounds won't open this summer and campers at other parks might suffer from vault toilets that go unemptied.

Comments

It saddens me to say this but to me this is the price the NPS must pay for its weak leadership. Blind faith in superintendents that don't deserve it have eroded public support for the NPS nationwide. Blindly supporting managers who abuse their discretion by playing games with the NEPA process, scientific data, attempting to implement backcountry entrance fees in a park where such fees are specifically prohibitied (calling them something else and not even talking to the local county officials), conducting unnecessary swat team like raids, destroying key evidence in visitor death inquiries, and incouriging the DOI IG's office to look the other way all take their toll. I'm sure congress hears about all of this and while individual congress/senate members might not come out publically and criticize, they have a hard time standing tall and supporting the NPS when the detractors suggest taking funds away.

You've got that right, slc. Jarvis will never admit that his leadership has failed and the Smokies is a prime example of that leadership vacuum. I hope that Ms. Jewell takes note of the firestorm in the Smokies because of a dud Superintendent and a boss that refuses to do anything about him. It makes me non sympathetic to their one time budget cut. Why is it the rest of us have had to tighten our belts. The Smokies got 80 million EXTRA stimulus dollars but they don't mention those monies. The great solution these overpaid bureaucrats can concoct is to let concessionnaires run the NPS or charge taxpayers to use tax funded lands. Jewell needs to clean house at the NPS. But I doubt that will occur.

Sorry. I am not a Red Queen off with her head after Jarvis like others seem to be.

This ugliness is in the dirty hands of Congress, and largely in the hands of the obstructionist Republicans.

slc72, SmokiesBackpacker, you can't argue with results, weak leadership and incompetent management have made a bad economic time for our national parks even worse. For government agencies to come in under budget means they will get less next year and that means they have to spend it all no matter the waste factor. Things have changed. Now that agencies get less let's see which managers can do more with less and show their ability to manage and be creative. Those that can should be rewarded in some way.

You can blame all you want, politicians, congress etc., but it is a time to "pay the piper", our government has to stop spending wildly. It isn't the bureaucrats who will pay, but the taxpayers as usual and I'm afraid that will never change.

Slc72 and smokiesbackpacker…….How refreshing to hear from like minded people that want ACCESS to NPS Lands.

[= 14.0pt]The DOI and NPS are systematically removing us from the lands they manage. Look at a few of the lawsuits and public issues before DOI and NPS:[/]

Uranium mining in AZ, oyster farming in Point Reyes, CA, snowmobiles in Yellowstone, MT, ORV on Big Cypress, FL, oil pipelines in NE, the right to gather on the 4th of July at Yorktown Victory Center, VA, Padre Island, Texas will now have a reduced speed limit due to the final rule at Cape Hatteras, Back country horseback travel in Sequoia and Kings Canyon, CA, Power lines in Delaware Water Gap, PA

Can you now see whats happening in your home state and all across America?[/b]

We are making Audubon, DOW, Southern Environmental Law Center and many other ‘environmental’ Attorneys Happy and Wealthy as they continue to sue us, the Federal Government, in the name of Conservation.

The DOI can only manage by lock and key because they lack funding….but still they want more lands to manage! (18 new National Monuments on the last 45 days.. a National Park in Delaware is on the books)

Support:

H.R. 819 (Jones) To authorize pedestrian and motorized vehicular access in Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area, and for other purposes. “Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act.”

Supporting this Bill and the same one in the Senate will save DOI $1.5MM at Cape Hatteras……..according to NPS documents.[/b]

Got a question: contactus@ncbba.org[/b]

Slc72 wrote:


conducting unnecessary swat team like raids,


That's interesting. Does anyone know what he's referring to?

Read up on the fiasco trying to get rid of an old indian trader (Billy Malone) at Hubble Trading Post.

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/review/2011/case-indian-trader-billy-malone-and-national-park-service-investigation-hubbell-trading-post8015

In yet another example of political hypocrisy, at the same time House Republicans were imposing still more cuts on the NPS, "a U.S. House-passed federal spending measure that would fund the Pentagon and the rest of the government for the remainder of the year contains $6.4 billion in special interest items not requested by the Defense Department, Sen. John McCain said [last] Tuesday."

The Arizona Republican said he has identified at least 59 programs that received $6.4 billion in funds not requested by the department or included in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. These “defense dollars for research-and-development earmarks and special interest set-asides” were passed by the full House last week, McCain said.

Even most Defense Dept. supporters (other than congressmen) were unhappy, since the politicians chose to fund pork while leaving in place sequester cuts that are forcing one day a week layoffs for hundreds of thousands civilian DOD employees, and thereby seriously hampering day-to-day operations at military bases across the county.

More sad proof that many in Congress are more interested in special interests than public interest.

Details about that added spending at: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130312/DEFREG02/303120026/McCain-House-Spending-Plan-Has-6-4B-Earmarks-DoD-Doesn-8217-t-Want?odyssey=nav|head