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Walla Walla, Washington, 18 March 2013 - Effective March 1, 2013, Whitman Mission National Historic Site was required by "sequestration" (a series of automatic, across-the-board permanent spending cuts) to reduce its annual budget by five percent.The park must absorb that cut in the remaining seven months of this fiscal year that ends September 30.The federal law imposing sequestration requires that each park take this cut.
For Whitman Mission National Historic Site, this amounts to a $39,948 reduction from a budget of $798,963. The park eliminated staff training, incentive awards, and overtime and reduced supply budgets. Two currently vacant positions in visitor services are being left unfilled and visitor center operating hours shortened to meet the required spending and staffing reductions. These cuts have also caused the elimination of ranger programs in the classroom and some ranger-led offsite programming.
While we take the actions necessary to comply with sequestration, the park remains open, welcoming visitors and continuing to protect the resources entrusted to our care.
Following are the major actions being taken to implement the cut:
Two currently vacant visitor services positions (Chief Ranger and student intern, or two of the nine visitor services positions at the park) will remain unfilled.
Reduced staffing will reduce park operations in the following ways:
·Visitor Center hours will continue at reduced hours (Winter hours - 9-4:30 daily; Summer hours 9-4:30 Sunday-Monday, 9-6:00 Tuesday - Saturday) affecting 8280 or 12% of potential park visitors
·Offsite educational and some interpretive programming has been discontinued affecting 4200 or 7% of potential park visitors (primarily children)