Federal Hiring Freeze Stalls Seasonal Employment at Mammoth Cave National Park

Feb 6, 2017

Credit Daniel Schwen, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

An executive order from the White House has hiring at Mammoth Cave National Park in limbo. 

President Donald Trump has issued a hiring freeze across federal government, including national parks.  Some new exemptions appear to roll back the freeze on hiring seasonal workers, who are crucial to Mammoth Cave in south central Kentucky. 

Spokeswoman Vickie Carson says the park is still waiting for the National Park Service to give the all-clear for hiring.  Otherwise, Carson says a lack of seasonal workers could force the park to alter its cave tour schedule.

"Here at Mammoth Cave, our primary resource is the cave, and to go inside the cave, you have to have a ranger go with you, and that's partly for protection of the visitors, but it's also for protection of the cave," Carson told WKU Public Radio.

Carson adds that park typically hires 50 seasonal workers to get through the busy summer months.  Mammoth Cave drew 500,000 visitors last year and about half came during June, July, and August. 

Park staff have been told they could advertise and review applications, but not extend any job offers for the time being.

© 2017 WKU Public Radio