New England travel has already seen some impact from the Federal sequester. You may have read with some minor or passing interest that both the Air Force Thunderbirds and and the Navy’s Blue Angels would not be flying at air shows this summer. Well the immediate fall out of that and other sequester cuts is that two of the three air shows that were to have happened in New England this summer have been cancelled. Both the 2013 Great State of Maine Air Show and the Rhode Island National Guard Open House have been cancelled as a result.
What else can happen? Well the National Park Service is not immune to the cuts. They have already stated that they expect to hire fewer seasonal workers, close some visitor centers, furlough park police, and postpone park maintenance work. How does that impact us in New England? Two of the Park Service’s most popular properties are here in New England – Acadia National Park and the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Impacts at Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is dealing with a $390,000 budget cut. Because of this the Park Loop Road and the Hulls Cove Visitor Center will open on May 19, 2013. They would have opened on April 15, 2013 before the sequester. In addition, the number of free ranger-led programs will be reduced by 30 per week. The Park will also do without hiring several open positions.
Impacts at the Cape Cod National Seashore
The Cape Cod National Seashore is also facing a sizable budget cut of $376,000. They are contemplating closing the Province Lands Visitor Center and will forgo 24 seasonal workers.
More Impacts to Follow?
This is still an evolving situation and could just be the tip of the iceberg. The Park Service runs numerous other properties throughout New England, and don’t forget that the USDA Forest Service runs the Green Mountain National Forest and the White Mountain National Forest. So it is very likely that other impacts will become evident in the near future.