Ozark Riverways Implements Budget Cuts
Contact: Faye Walmsley, 573-323-4844
Van Buren, MO - Beginning on March 1, 2013, Federal law required Ozark National Scenic Riverways to reduce its annual budget.The park must reduce and absorb the cut in the remaining six months of this fiscal year that ends September 30th.
"The park's decisions to implement budget reductions were made to minimize the impacts to our park visitors, partners, concessioners, and the surrounding communities," states Superintendent Bill Black."While we take the actions necessary to comply, the park remains open, welcoming visitors and continuing to protect the resources entrusted in our care. We ask the visiting public to help protect these resources that belong to you by packing out your trash from areas lacking trash cans." List of closed facilities.
For Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the reductions amount to $335,000 from a budget of $6,542,000.The park has cut travel, training, overtime, supply purchasing and reduced the number of seasonal and permanent employee positions to meet the required spending reduction.
The following are the major actions being taken to implement the cut:
Staffing (Note:92.68 percent of the park's budget pays for salaries and fixed costs like utilities)
·Unfilled Permanent Positions:2
·Unfilled Seasonal Positions: 17
Park Operations: Reduced staffing will lessen park operations in the following ways:
o Big Spring Campground will be open May 24 through Labor Day and then closed the rest of the year.The other developed campgrounds will remain open as normal.
o Gooseneck and Rymers Primitive Campgrounds will be closed.
o Summer Round Spring Cave Tours will not be offered.
o Evening programs at Pulltite and Round Spring Campgrounds have been eliminated.
o Special events (Heritage Day, Alley Spring Independence Day Celebration, Ozark Dinner Theater, and Haunting in the Hills) will not be offered.
o Akers, Pulltite, and Round Spring Visitor Contact Stations will not be open this season.
o There will be reductions in the eradication of the invasive /exotic plants.
o Water quality sampling will be curtailed 50 percent along the Jacks Fork and Current Rivers.
o Open fields monitoring will be lessened.
o Reduction in seasonal staff will decrease the timeliness and knowledge base needed for natural and cultural compliance.
o The park's ability to participate in the Missouri Black Bear Study and controlling feral hog activity in the park will be diminished.
o Trash cans have been removed and collection eliminated at: Tan Vat, Welch Hospital, Welch Landing, Jerktail, Williams Landing, Flying W, Bachers, Baptizing Hole, Rymers, Hickory, Club House, Cave Spring, Gooseneck, Grubbs Landing, Cedar Spring, Panther Spring and Cataract Landing.
o The park's 37 primitive vault restrooms will be cleaned once per week or every other week.
o Mowing will be decreased in the primitive campgrounds to two weeks prior to Memorial Day weekend, July 4th weekend, and Labor Day weekend.
o Water will not be turned on at Log Yard and Gooseneck.
For more information, phone (573) 323-4236 during business hours Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm or visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/ozar. Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, the surrounding natural resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people.