American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) released a statement on March 1 stating that they are “…..disappointed in the federal government’s failure to avert the sequestration that will start to take effect today.”. ASLA stated that they were not only worried about scale of the cuts and the impact that it will have on the USA economy but also federally employed landscape architects.
ASLA also spoke of its recent Business Survey and how it “…indicated a steadier future hiring picture going into the first quarter of 2013.” The across the board cuts will create uncertainty for firms and self employed with many choosing to implement hiring freezes. Furthermore, the cuts will effect not only federal but state and local governments in planning and implementing infrastructure projects such as stormwater management, transport corridors and the design of public spaces.
In terms of National Parks there will a overall cut of 5% from all of the parks in the USA, places a freeze on hiring including seasonal workers, with some visitor centers to be closed or have reduced hours, many NPS tours will not operate, many towns around the parks will suffer with reduced visitor numbers [National Geographic]. In 2011, 279 million national park visitors spent $13 billion in communities within 60 miles of a park[Environment News Service].
ASLA plea to the President, Government and Congress:
We realize that policymakers have difficult fiscal decisions to make. We urge President Obama and Congress to continue to focus on more targeted cutbacks, rather than across-the-board reductions. Their agenda must include working together to reinvest in U.S. infrastructure. | ASLA 1 March 2013