72
      Sunday
      88 / 70
      Monday
      88 / 73
      Tuesday
      88 / 72

      Sequestration and Congaree National Park, will it hurt?

      The visitor center hours are not being changed at this time due to budget cuts.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- It's a place where some go to get away from it all.

      However, it's a place where some changes might have to take place.

      With Washington D.C. failing to come to a compromise on avoiding forced budget cuts earlier this month, the National Park Service is required to take a 5% cut. That cut sums up to $153.5 million across the board.

      Approximately $93,146 is how much the Congaree National Park has to do without.

      Fortunately, the park was without a Superintendent for sixteen weeks. That allows $52,832 to be absorbed by the budget cut.

      Lauren Gurniewicz of Congaree National Park says, "The sequester isn't discriminating, in the sense that all federal agencies are required to take cuts in certain places."

      She says the park will not see many impacts that are visible to visitors.

      "Our supply budget has been significantly cut and that will impact employees and their ability to do day to day work in the office, maintenance supplies, the whole nine yards," Gurniewicz said.

      If the reduction in the budget continues, there will be a more visible impact to the park which covers nearly 27,000 acres of land.

      Some of those impacts could be reduced visitor center hours, and not hiring seasonal employees.

      As for now the National Park Service will not fill 900 permanent positions and will not hire 1,000 seasonal employees as a part of the sequestration.