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Friday, March 15, 2013

Sequester Cuts Hit Yellowstone

This image provided by the National Park Service shows a front loader clearing off a snow-blocked Sylvan Pass inside Yellowstone National Park May 11, 2011 in Montana. (National Park Service/AP)

This image provided by the National Park Service shows a front loader clearing off a snow-blocked Sylvan Pass inside Yellowstone National Park May 11, 2011 in Montana. (National Park Service/AP)

Evidence of sequester cutbacks are appearing across the country. The National Archives is reducing its tours, a handful of federal agencies have sent out furloughs and warnings of furloughs to its employees and the Department of Education has sent out letters to parents and students that fees on PLUS loans will be raised.

Yellowstone National Park is also anticipating the five percent scheduled cut to the National Park Service by cutting back on snow removal.

Yellowstone had been scheduled to start clearing snow from some high mountain passes last week, so the park could open on May 3. Now the park is putting off clearing the roads until March 18. It’s also reducing the size of the snow removal crews.

That could mean a delay in the park opening by up to three weeks. Who cares? Local businesses do.

The park expects to save between $150,000 and $250,000 by delaying plowing by two weeks. But area officials expect to lose around $2 million in revenue in the first two weeks of the park’s delayed opening.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead recently gave the green light to use state plows and crews to do the clearing, dismissing previous concerns about liability.

However, Gov. Mead is calling on municipalities to raise the funds to pay for the use of state resources.

Wall Street Journal reporter Caroline Porter has been covering the delayed plowing. She told Here & Now that Cody, Wyoming, alone will need to raise $100,000 by April 1 to foot its portion of the bill.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    if you leave it alone all that snow will remove itself, for free.

    • guest

      Snow sticks around in Yellowstone well into June, so it could cut into the peak tourist season for the park.  I was shocked by this at first, but led a trip there two years ago and we saw snow melt in mid-July.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        maybe the local merchants or the state  or whoever is affected could band together to remove the snow without the aid of the federal govt?

  • Jacob

    I think the 2 million dollar loss they are suggesting could be wrong. That is an assumption that those visitors would not come to the park at all. Obviously, if snow removal is delayed, some of those visitors would simply delay their trips. So it is not a complete 2 million dollar loss. 

  • Guest

    The sad part here is that will affect federal employees and all the folks that have placed their financial faith in the federal gov. This will cost people their livelihood at time when our country has nothing to offer people when they lose their jobs. I am not sure how our politicians thought that removing all of this money from the economy would be a good idea right now. This will not hurt the homeowners in Jackson Hole but it will hurt places like Cody, West and Gardiner. The places that have the least ability to deal with the loss of money.  This will be repeated all over the country. Thanks to both the Dems and Reps for such great leadership. 

  • Rlski

    The roads in question are not in the park and have been traditionally ignored by the State of Wyoming.  About time they take responsability to plow their own roads.

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