Park sequester cuts start in May

04/18/2013

Point Reyes National Seashore is cutting services back ahead of the summer travel season as the impact of automatic federal budget cuts continue to trickle down to West Marin, seashore spokesman John Dell’Osso said Wednesday. The iconic Point Reyes Lighthouse will close its visitor center for an additional day each week, on Thursday, starting May 1. Visitors will still be able to park a half-mile away and walk to the lighthouse when the center is closed, Tuesday through Thursday. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach will also close indefinitely next month. Park service properties are adjusting to budget cuts in Washington known as sequestration, and Point Reyes saw a mid-year $374,000 cut in its base budget that will disproportionately hit when officials normally expand services in the summer. Park roads will be maintained less assiduously, restrooms will not be cleaned as often and fewer staff will be on hand as thousands of tourists descend upon the peninsula this summer.