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Sequester Cuts May Impact Access To East Bay Historical Sites

MARTINEZ (KCBS) — Budget cuts related to the federal sequester are impacting some National Park Service sites in the East Bay, which could lead to less public access.

Park officials who run the Eugene O’ Neill National Historic Site in Danville and the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez said they will be closing at least two days due to the mandatory five-percent cuts.

Community programs offered at the Rosie the Riveter Park in Richmond and the Port Chicago Memorial in Concord will also be trimmed.

Park Superintendent Tom Leatherman said they knew these cuts might be coming so they stopped filling open positions.

“Even if they lifted the ‘hiring freeze,’ the money to pay for those people isn’t there either, so we’d have to figure out what to do,” Leatherman said. “Right now this hiring freeze is really tying our hands.”

Leatherman said he needs staff to maintain the sites, not just run educational programs. He said upkeep and public access are the two biggest priorities. The parks also won’t be hiring summer help during their busiest time of the year.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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