Automatic budget cuts could affect your vacation plans. That’s because the U.S. Department of Interior says those cuts will reduce what national parks can spend if Congress doesn’t come to an agreement by Friday.
All national parks and monuments, including those in the Pacific Northwest, will have to cut 5 percent of their budgets. That might not sound like a lot, but the vast majority of their budgets cover things like salaries and utilities. That leaves little money for things like summer programs and seasonal employees.
Barb Maynes is a spokeswoman for Olympic National Park in Washington. She says parks are working to limit the cuts at important destinations.
“If we could make a reduction in a well-used campground versus a lesser-used campground, we would be looking at that," Maynes says.
Budget cuts would mean a popular visitor center will close at Mount Rainier National Park. Crater Lake National Park will shut down a campground and close most restrooms around the rim. In Idaho, Craters of the Moon National Monument will reduce ranger-guided walks.
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