Regional
8:25 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Mammoth Cave Planning to Continue 5% Budget Cut Next Fiscal Year

Mammoth Cave is one of Kentucky's most popular tourist attractions.

Mammoth Cave National Park is preparing to continue current budget cuts into the next fiscal year. The popular southern Kentucky attraction has let many full-time and seasonal positions go unfilled due to the cuts.

Mammoth Cave National Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead tells WKU Public Radio the government has informed all national parks to not expect any relief from the hit they took earlier this year from the sequestration.

"We are currently being told to plan to carry forward the cuts that we took this year, so as we start our budget effort we will plan on continuing that five-percent reduction in our budget," said Craighead. "We haven't been given any additional information regarding next year's budget."

Mammoth Cave has left several full-time positions go unfilled as part of their budget reduction, including the park electrician. Superintendent Craighead says the park is relying more on volunteer help than it normally would, and is asking for volunteers to help the park maintain its many hiking trails.

"That is something we've had a decreasing ability to manage in the past several years, and as a result several of our trails are really suffering and eroding, causing problems downstream."

Volunteers have been helping park staff clear brush and debris from trails, as well as improving water bars that help prevent erosion by carrying water away from the trails.