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Can’t Freeze This

Time to lace up those hiking boots and strap on that backpack! Despite a federal government hiring freeze, the National Park Service will still be fully staffed for its busy summer months to ensure a safe and high-quality experience for visitors.

The National Park Service (NPS) depends on nearly 8,000 temporary workers to keep the parks running during the summer peak season. Seasonal employees are critical to meet the demands and increased workloads that accompany higher volumes of visitors.

On January 20, 2017, however, President Donald Trump signed an executive action that implemented a hiring freeze for some federal workers in an effort to cut government payrolls. As a result, park officials wondered if they would be able to hire for their summer months.

Yet the Federal Civilian Hiring Freeze Guidance lists the "appointment of seasonal employees and short-term temporary employees necessary to meet traditionally recurring seasonal workloads" as exempted from the freeze—provided that the agency informs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of its hiring plans in advance.

The NPS states that it will continue to work with the OMB, Department of the Interior and Office of Personnel Management to ensure the needs of park visitors are met across the system, throughout the year.

 Photo courtesy of the National Parks Service/Kristi Rugg


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