Tupelo, MS – On March 1, 2013, the Natchez Trace Parkway was required to reduce its annual budget by five percent, in accordance with the sequestration provision of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The effects of this federal law require that each national park absorb this reduction within the remaining months of this fiscal year, which ends September 30.
In order to meet the required financial reductions, the Parkway is reducing costs in the areas of permanent and seasonal employment, overtime, training, travel, and supply purchases. Within the next 2-6 weeks the adjustments listed below will be taken to implement the sequestration cut.
While these reductions are necessary to comply with sequestration, the park remains open, welcoming visitors and continuing to protect the resources entrusted to our care. Please visit our web site at www.nps.gov/NATR to obtain the most current information on operational changes and closures.
· Five (5) vacant Permanent Positions will not be hired
· Fifteen (15) Seasonal Employee Positions will not be hired
Park Operations: Reduced staffing will result in changes to park operations in the following areas:
· Parkway Visitor Centers: There will be a change in operating hours for the Visitor Centers along the Parkway at the following mileposts (MP).
o Meriwether Lewis Visitor Center (TN, MP 386): Operating hours will be reduced from 5 days/week full time to 2 days/week full time (Saturday/Sunday) and 3 days/week part time (Wednesday-Friday).
o Colbert Ferry Visitor Center (AL, MP 328): Will remain closed for the 2013 season.
o Tupelo Visitor Center (MS, MP 266): Operating hours remain unchanged; open 7 days/week.
o Ridgeland Visitor Center (MS, MP 102): Operating hours will be reduced from 5 days/week to 2 days/week (Friday/Saturday).
o Rocky Springs Visitor Center (MS, MP 55): Will remain closed for the 2013 season.
o Mount Locust Historic Site (MS, MP 15): Operating hours remain unchanged; open 7 days/week but with minimum staffing on 4 of those days. Operating hours may be reduced to 5 days/week in late fall.
· Parkway Comfort Stations: There will be a change in operating hours for the comfort stations along the Parkway:
o Eight (8) Will Remain on Current Schedule:
MP 386 Meriwether Lewis Parking Lot
MP 386 Meriwether Lewis Campground
MP 266 Tupelo Visitor Center
MP 193 Jeff Busby Service Station
MP 193 Jeff Busby Campground
MP 102 Ridgeland Visitor Center
MP 55 Rocky Springs Campground A
MP 15 Mount Locust
o Four (4) Will Remain Closed for 2013 Season:
MP 193 Jeff Busby Picnic Area
MP 193 Jeff Busby Little Mountain
MP 55 Rocky Springs Campground B
MP 55 Rocky Springs Picnic Area
o Fourteen (14) Will Be Closed Two Days per Week:
Closed Monday a.m. through Wednesday a.m.:
MP 386 Meriwether Lewis Little Swan
MP 378 Jack’s Branch
MP 364 Glenrock
MP 233 Witch Dance
MP 55 Rocky Springs Visitor Center
MP 17 Coles Creek
Closed Wednesday a.m. through Friday a.m.:
MP 428 Garrison Creek
MP 408 Gordon House
MP 405 Jackson Falls
MP 328 Colbert Ferry Visitor Center
MP 328 Colbert Ferry Boat Ramp
MP 287 Pharr Mounds
MP 154 Holly Hill
MP 123 River Bend
· Parkway Landscape Maintenance: There will be a change in the landscape maintenance of the Parkway.
o The road shoulder area will be mowed 15-30 feet wide as needed to provide a safe pull-off area for motorists.
o Intersections, turnouts, and around buildings will be mowed on an as-needed basis.
o The remaining grassed areas of the Parkway will be mowed 1-2 times, and the wood line and agricultural fields will be mowed once.
o Trash pickup will be reduced by one day per week.