Wind Cave National Park has closed Elk Mountain Campground as it begins implementing a 5 percent across-the-board cut in its operating budget due to sequestration.
“The sequestration has forced us to make some tough decisions that will impact visitors to Wind Cave National Park,” park superintendent Vidal Davila said in a news release. “People will have fewer opportunities to tour Wind Cave, the park’s primary resource, as a result of less staff.”
Closing the 64-site campground eliminates the need for two summer maintenance employees and interpretive rangers to present evening campfire programs.
In 2011, 6,600 visitors and their families used the campground, and 1,700 visitors participated in campfire programs.
According to the news release, the budget cut will also lead to a reduction in invasive plant control, fence and building repair and maintenance, science and research activities, natural resource monitoring and wildlife management programs.
The visitor center summer hours of operation will be shorter, the release said.