April - May 2013
This spring, Friends has offered whatever volunteer and financial support it can give to the Seashore to help offset the effect of sequestration cuts to many Seashore programs and services.
The most dramatic example of our impact - allowing the Province Lands Visitor Center to open this summer - is detailed below. Please help Friends help Cape Cod National Seashore in coping with reduced federal funding. If you are not a member, Join, Volunteer, Donate, get involved.
Province Lands Visitor Center
to remain open this summer
Thanks to Friends!
Recently, the Friends board of directors voted unanimously to donate $25,000 to Cape Cod National Seashore for the express purpose of allowing the Province Lands Visitor Center (PLVC) to open this summer.
Threatened with complete closure in 2013 due to the mandated budget cuts required by the federal sequestration, the PLVC will now be open seven days a week through the summer season, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Traditionally, the center has been open from May 1 through October 31.
Friends funding will be used to hire two seasonal park rangers for the shortened season. This is the minimum staffing required to cover the seven-day-a-week operation and provide basic information, orientation, resource protection, and safety services at the center.
Nearby Old Harbor Life-Saving Station will remain open for a few days each week. The popular Life Saving Drill, which relies on volunteers - many of whom are Friends members - and permanent staff, will continue. The Eastern National sales outlet at PLVC will also remain open during the summer season.
Superintendent George Price stated "We are very grateful to the Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore for their generosity and willingness to once again come to the assistance of the seashore in order to support the mission of protecting resources and serving visitors."
Sequestration and the 2013 season
at Cape Cod National Seashore
In a recent press release, Superintendent George Price announced that the 2013 summer program has been finalized with the incorporation of a $376,000 mandated reduction to the CCNS budget from sequestration. The plan includes significant cuts to visitor services, elimination of most ranger-led interpretive and educational programs, fewer biological technicians to monitor critical resources, and reduced custodial services.
Fortunately, a substantial donation from the Friends of Cape Cod National Seashore, allows the Province Lands Visitor Center - originally scheduled for complete closure under sequester cuts - to open for a shortened season from Memorial Day to Labor Day (see article above.)
The Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham will remain open year round, seven days a week. Other seashore activities that are fee-funded, such as lifeguard operations at the six beaches and off-road vehicle driving will continue. As usual, there will be some closures for shore bird protection. The Seashore's partner and concessioner facilities such as the Highland Light, Highland House Museum, Highland Links, Nauset Light, and Nauset Knoll Motor Lodge will remain open.
Interpretive services provided by volunteers (including many from Friends!) at the historic Captain Penniman House and Three Sisters Lighthouses, Eastham, and Old Harbor Life-Saving Station, Provincetown, will continue. However, the number and variety of interpretive programs this summer will be significantly reduced. Examples of eliminated programs include nature walks at locations like Nauset Marsh and Fort Hill; snorkeling in a kettle pond; beach campfires; beach yoga; the Provincetown tour; bird walks; shellfishing demonstrations; wading programs, extended hikes in Truro and Provincetown; and children's programs. Some 49,000 people attended these programs in 2012.
According to Price, "Our staff has worked diligently to piece together a very modest program within budget constraints. We're happy to say that some of our signature programs, such as the Life Saving Drill at Old Harbor, which relies on permanent staff and volunteers, and canoe trips in Salt Pond that are funded by use fees have survived the cuts this year."
Please check the seashore web site at www.nps.gov/caco or the seashore newspaper for current programs and hours.