SHANKSVILLE, Pa. — National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said Friday that budget cuts due to the sequestration in Washington, D.C., have forced the Flight 93 National Memorial to scale back on hours and tours.
“Shorter hours, fewer interpretive programs, less maintenance, fewer patrols — all those kinds of things are happening,” said Jarvis.
According to Jarvis, when the sequestration budget cuts took place in March, they forced a 5 percent reduction at every one of the 400 national parks.
“No individual park was singled out. They all had to take it, whether it was Yellowstone or Flight 93,” said Jarvis.
Edgewood Republican Keith Rothfus questioned whether cutbacks at the memorial were necessary and why park hours and tours needed to be the services that were affected.
“What bothers me is not having the opportunity to sit down with a pad and paper and force the administration to go through what’s necessary and what’s not,” said Rothfus.
Jarvis made it clear that the cuts weren’t his idea. He said he is just following instructions that Congress sent him.
Reduced hours and tours are a direct result of 1,000 fewer seasonal employees hired, a cut that is painful, Jarvis said.
“You could say it’s not fair to some, but it’s equally spread across all units,” said Jarvis.
Last month, Congress had a chance to give the park service $6 million, which a portion would have gone to the Flight 93 National Memorial, but that plan was voted down.