Dunes see changes with federal cuts kicking in

Now that the Sequestration has kicked in, one of the most popular tourist stops in northern Michigan has had to cut back.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has slashed more than two hundred thousand dollars from their budget.

It started with cuts to staff, five full-time workers were let go and 22 summer staff members had their hours reduced.

And to save additional funds, the park delayed itâ??s summer season.

â??About the third week of April is when we start bringing on some of the summer staff, but this year we didn't bring them on until the third week of may,â?? Park Deputy Superintendent Tom Ulrich explained.

And with that late start and less help, the park may look a little different.

â??Things are not getting mowed as often as they did, and we are cutting back on the area we mow, so its not going to look as nice,â?? Ulrich said.

In addition to staff cut backs, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore also has cut their interactive programs with schools.

Ulrich says his staff has turned away nearly ten thousand kids that would normally partake in their program.

â??We're hopeful that when congress hopefully does pass a budget that they are kind to the National Park Service, because of course we are very proud of the work we do and we hope they give us ample funds to carry out the work we are charged with,â?? Ulrich explained.