Potential Cutbacks at Philly Historic Sites

Possible federal budget cuts could cause a long list of cutbacks at historic parks across the country, including Philadelphia

A National Park memo obtained by the Associated Press has slated eight of 16 interpretive sites that are part of Independence National Historic Park to close for part of the year.

This is just some of many proposed changes to national parks across the country.

"We're planning for this to happen and hoping that it doesn't," said Park Service spokesman Jeffrey Olson.

The National Park Service says the public should be prepared for reduced hours and services provided by NPS employees at 398 national parks, monuments, recreation areas and other historic sites.

The closures of the Philadelphia sites would happen in the Spring and Fall. NBC10 is working to get the list of the sites in jeopardy.

Around 280 million people visit national parks each year and their spending alone supports 247,000 jobs, according to the NPS, who says these changes will have a huge economic impact.

Congress has until March 1 to reach a deal before the $85 billion forced federal budget cuts go into effect.

"The National Park Service, like every government agency, has been asked to prepare plans in the event that the sequester happens," said Olson in a statement released to NBC10.

But he says the NPS remains hopeful that Congress is able to avoid the cuts.

Here's a look at the other national parks that would see changes:

  • Cape Cod National Seashore, Mass.: Closure of the Province Lands Visitor Center; reduction of seasonal natural resource personnel would force the closing of Great Beach to protect nesting shorebirds.
  •  Yosemite National Park, Calif.: Staff reductions that would end guided ranger programs at Wawona and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias; elimination of a program in which 3,500 volunteers provide 40,000 hours of activities; less frequent trash pickup due to loss of campground staff.
  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.: Delayed spring road openings; reduced or delayed seasonal hiring; delayed access to Grant Village and Yellowstone Lake.
  • Gettysburg National Monument, Pa.: Loss of 6,872 volunteer hours due to lapse of seasonal volunteer coordinators; reduction in removal of exotic species; elimination of 20 percent of student education programs.
  • Natchez Trace Parkway, Miss.: Closure of 25 comfort stations one day per week.
  • Mammoth Cave National Park, Ky.: Closure of the most remote cave section.
  • New River Gorge National River, W Va.: Deferred maintenance on buildings, roads and trails.
  • Denali National Park, Alaska: Delayed plowing; delayed opening of the visitor center.
  • Glacier National Park, Mont.: Delayed opening of the only road that provides access to the entire park.
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.: Reduced hours of operation at the Grand Canyon Visitors Center, affecting 250,000 visitors.
  • Catoctin Mountain Park, Md.: Reduce by half the operating hours at visitors center.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway, N.C.: Cut 21 seasonal interpretive rangers; close half of visitor contact stations.
Copyright AP - Associated Press
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