Ever since sequester started my personal Facebook news feed has seen daily posts about how budget problems are impacting National Parks and Historic sites. Hours are being cut, park buildings are being closed, and even campgrounds (one would think a money maker) are being effected. In the all to rampant panic over the budget, history and nature are starting to take a beating.
Sadly, budget problems are not limited to the nation’s capital. The Asheville-Citizen Times reported that the governor’s proposed budget would close four historic sites in North Carolina including the birthplace of Zebulon Vance. A couple of years ago, the state of Georgia took a whack at the budget of New Echota State Park and the Chief Vann House. The Cherokee Nation even offered to help.
So what are we – those who love history and love visiting these places to do? Well, unless you happen to be Bill Gates, Waren Buffet, or Oprah, financially probably not much. However, whenever we see such a story, we can make our voice heard. Even if it is only to ask representatives to look a little longer and a little harder at finding the money elsewhere. People spoke out on behalf of the Loudoun Museum in Leesburg, Virginia and made a difference (see more here).
If you are interested in trying to make a difference you can contact the North Carolina General Assembly and let them know how you feel.
NOTE: This is not a “this or that party is evil” post, but rather a “how can we as the history loving type” (I assume you are at least interested in history or you wouldn’t be reading this blog) get a say in this process. There are plenty of lobbyists in Washington and State capitals and I’ll bet none of them represents the interests of the historical community. Now wouldn’t that be something – a History lobbyist!