Colo. national parks prep for sequestered cuts

6:15 PM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA-With a week left before the congressional deadline to avoid the sequestered budget cuts, Colorado's national parks are making plans to cut ahead of the busy spring and summer months.

Parks are preparing for a 5 percent cut to their operating budgets. The biggest impact would be on Rocky Mountain National Park, with more than $600,000 in cuts and Mesa Verde National Park with more than $300,000.

Parks hire extra rangers in the summer months to accommodate bigger crowds, but they may have to cut back on the extra help.

If no action is taken to modify the cuts, here's what those two parks may do:

ROCKY MOUNTAIN

-Not open the Moraine Park Visitor Center
-Reduced hours at other visitor centers
-Reduce interpretive programs
-Glacier Basin Campground, with 148+ campsites would remain closed all summer (it is closed in the early season due to construction on Bear Lake Road.)
-If sequestration continues into 2013, additional campgrounds may be shut
-Clearing snow from Trail Ridge Road may be diminished

MESA VERDE

-Delay the April openings of Cliff Palace and Balcony House ruins, or cut back on the number of tours (which are needed to access the sites)
-Shorter visitor center hours
-Less staffing of park entrances

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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