Chickasaw National Recreation Area officials said sequestration has resulted in an annual budget cut of 5 percent and that means major changes at the park.
"The park must absorb that cut in the remaining se ven months of this fiscal year that ends September 30. The federal law imposing sequestration requires that each park take this cut," said Dan Winings, CNRA spokesperson. "For Chickasaw National Recreation Area, this amounts to a reduction of $189,220 from a budget of $3,784,403. The park cut travel, training, overtime and supply purchases and reduced the number of seasonal employee positions to meet the required spending reduction." Winings said 90 percent of the park's budget pays for salaries and fixed costs, such as utilities. Sequestration means three seasonal jobs will not be filled this year.
And while the CNRA remains open the cuts will effect visitors. Here's how: Cuts to visitor services:
■ Guy Sandy Campground will remain closed this summer
■ The upper loop of Rock Creek Campground will remain closed this summer
■ Starting May 7 the Travertine Nature Center will close on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
■ Routine maintenance will occur less frequently in the park this summer including less mowing, fewer trash pickups, less trail work, less frequent facility cleaning, and less recycling.
CNRA Superintendent Bruce Noble said while fewer amenities will be offered visitors can still expect to receive quality service.
"The employees of Chickasaw National Recreation Area pride themselves on the exemplary level of service we provide to park visitors. While we would prefer to avoid these necessary reductions, we will strive to continue to provide the type of quality park experience that the public has come to expect of us," Noble said.
Sequestration cuts went into effect at the park March 1.