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Sequestration hits Elkmont Campground

1:22 AM, Apr 7, 2013   |    comments
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A sign lets drivers know that Elkmont Campground is full.

The impacts of sequestration are already showing at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

This weekend, Elkmont Campground was full, and sites A through D were open.

During this time of year, officials said it's normal to have several loops closed.

But it has been harder for the park to re-open some of those sites, due to budget cuts from sequestration.

"We have had to close three facilities, two picnic areas, and then have also not been able to hire our seasonal staff back. So there's been less hiring in our seasonal staff and that has delayed our openings for our campgrounds, picnic areas and our roads throughout the park," said Molly Schroer, GSMNP spokesperson.

Almost a month ago, GSMNP had to reduce its budget by 5 percent.

"I was very concerned that it might affect Elkmont because it is such a popular location and we do come up here maybe four, five times a year," said Connie Sharpe, from Maryville.

Six out of 10 campgrounds are open at GSMNP.

All sites at Elkmont Campground will re-open by May 15.

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