National Parks Prepare For Budget Cuts

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD - Take a good look at summertime's past in our national parks, because with looming budget cuts, we could see a very different picture soon.

The C&O Canal National Historical Park is the 11th most visited park out of the nation's 398 parks.

Its budget is scheduled to be cut by $500,000 under sequestration.

Superintendent Kevin Brandt says with less staff and maintenance, safety is the top concern.

"Frankly, we have a fair number of injuries because of rocks and roots that are in the tow path, and that condition will certainly get much worse," says superintendent Kevin Brandt.

The National Park Service has already been working to cut costs and the tighter budget is showing.More obstacles, including rock-slides, litter and overgrowth, would also be more common as many parks see a cut in staff.

Along the canal, while the towpath would stay open, Brandt says some visitor's centers will likely be closed.

"We still haven't hit March 1st, I'm still hopeful that we can see a resolution of this but if not we'll make the best of it," he says.

All parks, including Antietam National Battlefield and Harper's Ferry National Historical Park, would also be affected by the cuts. 

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