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Sequester Cuts Could Affect Half of Blue Ridge Pkwy Visitor Centers

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

February 24, 2013

If Congress cannot avoid the sequestration cuts by March 1, they would affect many people in many ways. In Virginia, one place feeling the effects are those who enjoy the mountainous views.

Whether a Virginia native or a tourist, the Blue Ridge Parkway gives an experience most will never forget. But if lawmakers cannot agree on a balanced deal this week, automatic sequestration cuts would close half of the Blue Ridge Parkway's visitor's centers.

"It will be very sad for all of us who like to use the outdoors," says Patricia Radney, an outdoor lover and employee of one of the regional tourist centers. "There will just be so much that people who want to use recreation that is open and available to them now, will not be available. I feel that it's just sad and mad."

Patricia and her husband had their honeymoon at Big Meadows along the parkway, so they say it especially has a soft spot in their heart. But now they volunteer to keep the trails beautiful and clean and they still hike all the time.

Working at the tourist center she feels for the people who come from around the world from Ireland to Japan and the west coast, who won't be able to see what they want to see if these centers close.

"People that come to see us, we cannot tell them the places they can see and visit because they're not going to be open and that's a shame," she says.

Closing half of the visitors stations would leave 80 long miles between those remaining.

"The beauty you won't be able to see all year long. The beauty of the summer the spring the fall the wintertime. It's a wonderful place up here and there will be a lot that will be missed."

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