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Since many maintenance workers and other seasonal employees carry out double duties as on-call firefighters, paramedics or search-and-rescue workers, payroll reductions will mean fewer emergency responders in the park this summer.
"We will do our best not to allow those reductions to impact the safety of our visitors and employees," Skaggs said. "But the reality is our response capabilities will be reduced."
In staunchly conservative Wyoming, where legislators just cut most state agency budgets by 6.5 percent despite virtually no state debt and more than $15 billion in savings, the across-the-board federal cuts are raising questions.
Residents who depend on tourism for a living are already complaining to the state’s all-Republican congressional delegation, which is on record as supporting the cuts if it means the alternative is raising taxes.
"I’m sorry, but in how this is affecting us, it doesn’t seem to me like it’s fiscally responsible," Darby said. "Somebody needs to refigure this, or we need to get better advocates."
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