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Federal cuts will be felt at NPS sites in the U.P.

March 2, 2013
By KURT HAUGLIE , Houghton Daily Mining Gazette

CALUMET - The sequestration of federal funds will be felt locally, according to National Park Service officials.

Because Congress and President Barack Obama have not been able to agree on how to avoid spending cuts forced by the Budget Control Act passed in August 2011, the mandatory cuts will total $1.2 trillion.

Because of the cuts to the National Park Service, cuts will have to be made at Keweenaw National Historical Park and Isle Royale National Park.

Article Photos

Keweenaw National Historical Park headquarters in Calumet Township is shown. Looming spending cuts will affect the park if sequestration takes effect, park Superintendent Mike Pflaum said. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Kurt Hauglie)

Mike Pflaum, superintendent of Keweenaw National Historical Park, said there will have to be changes made throughout the park because of the funding cuts.

"We have a plan at our park how to reduce service and operations," he said.

Hours and days of operation will be reduced at the Calumet Visitor Center, Pflaum said. "The exact hours and days will be determined."

Pflaum said park ranger programs involving such things as tours and interpretation will be reduced or eliminated.

The park has a visitor contact station at the Quincy Mine Hoist north of Hancock, and that will be reduced or eliminated, Pflaum said.

Technical support for the park's heritage sites and other partners will be reduced, as well, Pflaum said.

"We've been told to plan for a reduction of 5 percent," he said. "Monday morning when we come in to work, we'll be cutting costs."

Phyllis Green, superintendent of Isle Royale National Park, said the cuts will have significant impact at the park.

"For us, we kind of lose our safety net for back-country users of the north shore," she said.

The Malone Bay and Amygdaloid ranger stations will be closed as well as the Daisy Farm campground, Green said.

There will be cuts to personnel all over the park.

"We will lose 50 percent of our seasonal staff," she said.

One of the more popular stops for tourists on the island is the Edison Fisheries, which Green said will now not have interpretive guides.

"That will be shut down," she said.

Efforts to eliminate invasive plant and animal species, such as the zebra mussel, will also have to be stopped, Green said.

 
 

 

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