BUDGET CUTS TRIGGER MLK DAY CLOSURE AT SCOTTS BLUFF NM

Posted 6 months ago

By John Axtell

SBNMThe National Park Service is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day by waiving entrance and related fees at its 133 sites that charge such fees, including Badlands National Park, but unaffected is Scotts Bluff National Monument.

That’s because it will be closed on Monday.  Superintendent Ken Mabery says the decision to close for the holiday was made solely for financial reasons, reflecting budget cuts that have forced a lot of belt-tightening for Scotts Bluff National Monument.

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Making the budgetary impact even heavier is that fact that National Park Service employees get holiday pay if they work on holidays.

The tight budget has led to other holiday closures, fewer special programs, and a reduction in the number of hours and days that the monument was open for nighttime viewing of Christmas lights. Mabery says the public seems to be understanding about the moves.

The fee-free day in National Parks applies to entrance fees only and does not affect fees for camping, reservations, tours, or use of concessions where applicable