Sequestration cuts impacting Cape Lookout National Seashore

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The Cape Lookout Lighthouse stands against the setting sun. The Cape Lookout National Seashore is seeing reduced staff and operations through sequestration.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 at 05:18 PM.

HARKERS ISLAND — Cape Lookout National Seashore is gearing up for the busy spring and summer season, but there will be some noticeable changes due to automatic federal spending cuts.

The impact of sequestration on the National Park Service means Cape Lookout National Seashore heads into its busy season with cuts that mean reduced staff and operations.

“We cut a little more than $123,000 from our $2.4 million park budget, a 5-percent cut,” park Superintendent Pat Kenney said.

The cuts mean the loss of two seasonal employees — one park ranger for education/interpretation and one visitor use assistant — and one unfilled permanent administrative support assistant.

The positions were unfilled and there have not been layoffs, but Kenney said their loss results in reduced services. Beginning Sunday, the Harkers Island Visitor Center will be closed on weekends.

“At this point it is until the end of the fiscal year in September and will be evaluated after that,” Kenney said.

Kenney said the picnic area and trails will remain open and the adjacent Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center is open on Saturdays.

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