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Budget cuts lead to longer lines at Grand Canyon

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, June 17, 2013 - 10:48 am

PHOENIX — Cuts to the National Park Service are being felt at the Grand Canyon National Park and other Arizona attractions.

The Arizona Republic reports that the recent budget sequestration has doubled peak wait times to the Grand Canyon just as the summer tourist season begins. Officials say cuts also have forced a reduced staff to limit the number of times they clean restrooms for a park that draws 4 million visitors a year.

Meanwhile, the Saguaro National Park near Tucson has been unable to replace a ranger despite recent spray-paintings of gang signs at 48 locations.

At Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona, a program to educate Border Patrol agents about wilderness values and research in national parks also has been put on hold.