Chatham Manor, the 241-year-old Georgian house that was a Union headquarters near Fredericksburg, Va., during the Civil War, is marred by overgrown gardens and a greenhouse with broken windows and rotting wood frames. The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches from Virginia to North Carolina, has a $385 million backlog of projects and hasn't been able to fill 75 positions since 2003. New Mexico's Bandelier National Monument doesn't have money to hire someone to protect its archeological ruins.
Eilperin reports parks have been pulling from maintenance and acquisition budgets to run day-to-day operations for years. National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis told Eilperin his employees have been "entrepreneurial" in finding ways around budget cuts, but are "kind of running out of ideas at some point here." Park managers say they are scared about next year's federal budget and what might happen if a budget deal isn't reached by January. The current proposal from the House Appropriations Committee would cut 218 full-time jobs or 763 seasonal employees at the parks. (Read more)