Effects Of National Park Shutdown Trickle Down To State Parks In Florida

Oct 1, 2013

Unlike their national counterparts, Florida State Parks are staying open even though Congress failed to pass a budget Monday. But, that doesn’t mean state parks will be immune to the squeeze of a federal government shutdown.

The Southeast Archeological Center in Tallahassee isn’t considered an essential government service. So as a result of the government shutdown, employees were given four hours Tuesday to tie up any loose ends and vacate their offices for a forced vacation. And although employees overseeing state parks will stay on the job, David Morgan, the archeological center’s director, pointed out that without his team’s services, state parks will be disadvantaged.

“The services that we provide, of course we won’t be able to provide while we’re [out] of office. And mostly that’s support to our national parks but, it’s also support to our partners. So, those in fish and wildlife or in the forest service, who would ordinarily turn to us for guidance on how to manage their resources, we won’t be available to take their inquiries while we’re on furlough,” Morgan said.

Morgan says with his office out of service everything from permitting for archeological digs and trail restorations to the protection of artifacts and dig sites will grind to a halt. 47 of the center’s 48 employees been furloughed as a result of the federal government budget battle.