Mt. Rainier to feel effects of sequestration this summer

The popular Ohanapecosh Visitor Center at Mt. Rainier National Park will not open this summer due to the effects of sequestration. Closure of the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center will affect approximately 60,000 to 85,000 visitors during the 130 days that the center would normally open each summer. In addition, the Ohanapecosh campground season will close early this year and the Cougar Rock Campground season will be shortened by six weeks.

The park was required to reduce its annual operating budget for 2013 by five percent because of sequestration, the series of federal automatic, across-the-board, permanent spending cuts implemented in January. The park must absorb this funding cut between now and September 30, the end of the federal budget cycle, during the period when most visitors come to the park.

Absent additional funding next fiscal year, the $603,000 reduction is a permanent adjustment to Mount Rainier’s operating budget.

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