The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge has had to close one more day each week due to cuts from the sequester.
How has the shutdown or sequester affected you? Share your comments below.
The government shutdown brought sudden and dramatic changes to the lives of those who work for federal government agencies or receive government assistance. But the sequester, which is cutting $109 billion a year from government funding levels, is also having a dramatic impact on local programs.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal, at over 15,000 acres, is one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the country. It was closed to visitors and staff were furloughed during the government shutdown. But they have also had to cut programs and staffing due to the sequester. Earlier in the year they were just closed on Mondays. They are now also closed on Tuesdays and could have to close on Wednesdays in the future if they are not able to hire staff.
For Children’s Hospital Colorado, “The government shutdown had a direct and immediate impact on many of our low-income patient families who rely on critical government services, like WIC (a nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children) and Head Start, to meet their basic needs. The shutdown also highlighted the vulnerabilities associated with our research and medical education programs, which are dependent on government support.”
NIH (National Institutes of Health) reported that during the shutdown it canceled over 200 peer review meetings, affecting the review of over 11,000 applications. Researchers at the Anschutz campus, along with others around the country, who had recently submitted applications, or had planned to submit during the period of the shutdown, experienced delays in the review process.
Park Hill resident Lindsay Neil who is the director of Denver’s Office of Children’s Affairs says their Head Start funds, which serve over 1100 children, were reduced by 5.27% due to the sequester. She said they worked with the centers to avoid closing classrooms but they did have to reduce the number of school days or hours. Additional services for comprehensive health, vision and dental services have also been reduced. Pamela Harris, President of Mile High Montessori says the Lowry center that serves over 500 children had to cut a full month out of their school year.