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NPS leader: sequester cuts could get worse

Still wants to improve Lake Roosevelt NRA


Dan Foster, NPS Superintendent

Dan Foster, the new superintendent of the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, is learning how to do more with less.

And it may be only an omen of things to come.

He told chamber of commerce members last Thursday that he is operating with 6 percent fewer resources than what were available the year before, and if the sequester problem at the national level isn’t solved, the next year it could climb to 12-13 percent.

Foster said adjustments this season have included such things as mowing less frequently and cleaning restrooms less often. Mainly, the cutbacks have affected part-time employees.

However, any additional cutbacks, if they occur, will mean the furloughing of full-time, permanent employees next season. The new fiscal year starts in October.

Foster came to Lake Roosevelt from he Niobrara National Scenic River in Nebraska, a 76-mile-long free-flowing river recreation area. He assumed his duties here in February.

Speaking at the weekly Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at SunBanks Lake Resort, Foster traced his career from time with the State of Utah to stints at Wind Cave National Park to a time with the Nez Perce at Spalding, Idaho, a place from where he had his first contact with this area.

He is a ranger’s ranger, having been involved in all the traditional activities and resources of National Park Service.

He has had experience working with leasing, agreements with Indian tribes, research and resource development.

While he speaks of the chance to unfold the opportunities of a lake area with several hundred miles of shoreline, he also focuses on such down-to-earth topics as safety and resource protection.

You can make his day by enjoying a safe camping experience along the lake and leaving the area as clean as you found it.

There are new opportunities for the new superintendent. The Ice Age Floods story has been poorly told in this area, he said. That’s part of his agenda — to tell this story so people visiting can not only enjoy the area but stand in awe of how it was formed.

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