Outdoors

Sequestration curbs plows, delays Yellowstone's spring opening

A bison digs under the snow to graze inside Yellowstone National Park, Mont., in this undated photograph provided by the National Park Service. State and federal agencies will reveal today what plans they've got in store for Yellowstone bison this winter amid pressure from surrounding communities to keep the animals in the park. (Associated Press)
A bison digs under the snow to graze inside Yellowstone National Park, Mont., in this undated photograph provided by the National Park Service. State and federal agencies will reveal today what plans they've got in store for Yellowstone bison this winter amid pressure from surrounding communities to keep the animals in the park. (Associated Press)

PARKS — The giant yellow snowplows that wake Yellowstone from its winter slumber every March are idled, waiting for the sun to make up for federal budget cuts that are forcing the park to open late for peak season.

According to a Washington Post story, mandatory cuts kicked in three days before the plows were to start clearing snow and ice from 300 roads at altitudes that reach 11,000 feet.

Faced with an order from Washington to slice $1.8 million from his budget, the park superintendent, Dan Wenk, had considered his options, and delaying the plows was a better choice than cutting his already barebones staff of rangers and seasonal employees.

National Parks are just one of many agencies weighing choices being forced by the budget reductions known as sequestration.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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