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Grand Canyon learning to deal with sequester cuts

PHOENIX -- The sequester spending cuts went into effect in early March and the Grand Canyon is learning to deal with less funding.

"Be a bit patient with us," said Maureen Oltrogee with the National Park Service. "If you don't like the cleanliness of the bathrooms or you don't like longer lines, try to remember we're trying to provide a great experience. The busier the park gets, the more people will notice. Instead of cleaning bathrooms and buildings twice a day, we may only be doing that once each day."

After all was said and done, the Grand Canyon has about $1 million less than they are accustomed to.

The Park Service hasn't been able to hire up the full complement of seasonal workers they would normally have. There's a hiring freeze. Overtime has been cut.

The South Rim campgrounds are open but visitors will see less rangers roaming around. Visitor center hours will be cut this summer.

In peak season, the Grand Canyon typically sees an average of more than 20,000 daily visitors.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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