Congress Questions Park Cuts

Washington D-C – Lawmakers who oversee the National Park Service are questioning planned cuts in services at several parks.
They say the agency first should pare back 44 (m) million dollars in travel -- including more than 215 trips abroad last year.
Republican Congressman Charles Taylor, of North Carolina, chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that handles the Park Service budget. Congressman Norman Dicks, of Washington state, is the ranking Democrat on the panel. They say that, since 1997, Congress has provided the parks 100 (m) million dollars more than was requested.
Last week, former Park Service employees released an e-mailed memo that suggested keeping some parks and visitor centers open fewer hours, or scaling back on guided ranger tours and lifeguards at some beaches.