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Old 03-07-2013, 12:12 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
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The word on the street in Cortez is that that Mesa Verde National Park, as well as Canyonlands NP in near-by Utah are going to be closed due to the sequester. That sounds extreme to me, so I did some checking on the Internet. The only thing I could find about specific NP's was a recent article in a Montana newspaper where they were flipping out about possible closures and reduced hours at Yellowstone. I also found an article in the New York Times which discussed Park closures and/or reduced hours and closure of Park Visitor centers in general.

Still confused, I decided to go straight to the horse's mouth and I called up Mesa Verde. I had 4 different phone numbers for them, and all 4 sent me straight to voice mail. I left a message on a couple of them, but I STILL haven't heard back and it's been a couple of days. I've called up various NP's in the past for info, and I've always been able to reach someone. What the ...?

In the Four Corners region, we live by the tourists who flock to the National Parks around here. People come to stay in Cortez especially to visit Mesa Verde. If the Park closes or even just has reduced hours, that will be a major blow to the economy of the region. Without the tourist trade, the job market will take a nose dive, and the unemployment rate around here is already pretty grim.

I imagine that communities elsewhere in Colorado (like Estes Park outside Rocky Mountain NP, etc) that depend on the tourist trade from National Parks will also be adversely impacted, if what I'm hearing about the sequester is true.

Does anyone know what's really going on?
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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5 days ago:

Arches, Canyonlands to cut $500K after sequester | ksl.com

"We don't expect to have to close Arches or Canyonlands," said Cannon.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
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Today's Denver Post: Rocky Mountain National Park to offer fewer campsites, rangers due to federal budget cuts - The Denver Post
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:03 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,020,776 times
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Wink RMNP in sequestration

Rocky Mountain National Park is open. In my visiting their Beaver Meadow headquarters and visitor center, this is what they had to say for themselves. Unfortunately not much, and apparently anything more detailed will have to wait until Monday and the return of the information officer. But the fellow on duty helped as he could, if largely unable and unwilling to say much for certain.

Some of the points touched upon:

• Yes, he believes RMNP will suffer a 5% loss of funding due (the venality of) our government. He does not know what that represents in dollar terms, although presumably as stated in The Denver Post, $623,200. Nor does he know if this money will be returned to the budget when(ever) sequestration ends.

• The campsites at Glacier Basin remain closed due Bear Lake Road construction. Also as winter. He does not expect them to reopen. But thinking this (needless and expensive) road construction project will continue.

• He was unsure about any reduction in open hours. But positive that the visitor center at Moraine Park will not open due this funding cut.

• He said that RMNP always tries to have Trail Ridge Road open by Memorial Day. Naturally. He expects that should be all the more the case this "winter," as the general lack of it.

• Today they are doing prescribed burns. He expects that to continue unabated, in burning the slash piles of all the many trees they have cut down. His belief that the Fern Lake Fire is still burning, in smoldering under the snow in places. He did not know if the budget for fighting wildfires in RMNP would be affected due this sequestration, or if part of the park's regular budget.

Not much hard information, but what one might discover if walking in the door.

Last edited by Idunn; 03-07-2013 at 05:21 PM..
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
• He said that RMNP always tries to have Trail Ridge Road open by Labor Day. Naturally. Expects that should be all the more the case this "winter," as the general lack of it.
I'm sure that was a mis-type.
As you know, they try to have it open the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. From a 9News report last night:
Sequester impacting Rocky Mountain National Park | 9news.com The Park might also have to delay the opening of Trail Ridge road this May. The Park can't spend over time funds on non-emergency situations anymore.
"Where we might have been able to open that road in a day, it's probably going to take us longer than that," Patterson said.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:18 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,020,776 times
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Wink Uh, yes

Trail Ridge Road in RMNP should be open by Memorial Day, not Labor Day as I erroneously misspoke. Since corrected.

Would make for an interesting winter drive, wouldn't it?
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
2,019 posts, read 4,323,534 times
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^It certainly would!

I found this article from the Cortez Journal which you may or may not have read: The Cortez Journal 03/06/2013 | Sequester impacts still a mystery to local entities
Public lands agencies in Southwest Colorado were unable to specify how they'd be affected.

Mesa Verde National Park, which the Cortez Journal reported last month was on the hook for $321,000 in potential cuts, still reported being in a "holding pattern."

Spokeswoman Betty Lieurance said the park received a waiver to hire seasonal employees, like tour guides, maintenance workers and archaeologists. Summer hours officially begin Memorial Day weekend, but the more famous sights are, for now, scheduled to open for guided tours earlier: the Cliff Palace on April 7 and Balcony House on April 21.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:52 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
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Thanks to everyone for the links. I don't know why on earth they didn't show up on the Google search I did last night. I was tired and I probably typed in "Sylvester" instead of "sequester" or something. Lord knows, I don't. Good thing I can come to this forum where folks know how to type and stuff!
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:03 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,403 posts, read 39,722,706 times
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It's all a left wing conspiracy... (terrorizing the public with threats) there are plenty of ways to keep National Parks and Monuments open.

Thousands of retirees already do free services for NPS and could fill most positions that need furlough. The GOV does not have a clue how to run a business (even with the BLANK checks that they have been given for decades).
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:56 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
It's all a left wing conspiracy... (terrorizing the public with threats) there are plenty of ways to keep National Parks and Monuments open.
Wait. What? Do you mean the reason I couldn't find anything on Google is because there are actually NO links to National Park closings since the lefties made the whole thing up and those links don't even exist?

Wow!

And posters like lovetheHighCountry and Neditate and Idunn were just having a little fun in this thread, pulling my leg? OMG! I wonder what other Colorado forum threads are simply pure fantasy made up by members like Waneroo and Jazzlover and the rest, purely to have a little joke or two at the expense of the unwary reader. I bet Colorado's 2nd best downtown is really Lamar, not Boulder; that the images in the Colorado Photo thread are really taken in Switzerland; and Colorado Springs, far from being conservative, is actually more liberal than Boulder.

Thank you so much for opening my eyes!

Quote:
Thousands of retirees already do free services for NPS and could fill most positions that need furlough. The GOV does not have a clue how to run a business (even with the BLANK checks that they have been given for decades).
Gosh, so geezers from the local old folks home could actually manage our public lands as good as, maybe better than trained professionals with college degrees? Works for me:

OK, everyone from 60 - 70 years old is assigned to fire suppression. If you don't like the idea of being on a Hotshot Crew and jumping from an air plane with a pack and a pulaski right into a fire, get over it.

You fossils from 70 - 80 will be on the trail crews. No whining about swinging a shovel at 8,000 to 10,000 feet. You've been parasites living on Social Security long enough, so get your butts out there!

80- 90 year olds - you guys will be doing archeological reconstruction, ecological surveys, botanical and zoological transects as well as soil sampling and erosion prevention. You got one day to learn how to use a dichotomous key, brush up on your biometry skills and statistics. And don't forget to memorize your book on soil conservation that you will purchase along with your other 20 texts. No complaining about your memory or your Alzheimers. We've heard it all before.

I know what I'm gonna do - I'm gonna become the volunteer Superintendent of Mesa Verde and I'm gonna make some big time changes - like entrance fees. Since the tax payer will no longer be paying for the upkeep and management of the National Parks and other public lands, because the 65+ crowd is doing it all for free, the "public" lands will no longer be public. No freeloaders when I'M running Mesa Verde in my old age. Park entrance fees will be $50.00 per person instead of $10.00 or $12.00, those who want to use Park campgrounds will have to pay $75.00/night for the first two campers in a group and $50.00 for each person there-after. RV-ers will pay $100.00/night if they want hook-ups. Tours of the ruins will be $100.00/person because the old geezers leading them will have a tendency to fall and break their hips and it's a major pain to train replacements, because old people NEVER remember ANYTHING!

At the end of the season, I'll take the proceeds and distribute them to all the volunteers as a sort of gratuity to thank them for their service. After all, since Medicare will probably be repealed, we'll need the extra cash for medical expenses.

Old geezers ROCK! I'm glad someone has finally recognized this.

Last edited by Colorado Rambler; 03-07-2013 at 10:04 PM..
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