Meadville Tribune

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August 23, 2012

National parks face funding crunch



Reciting by heart the words of Union soldiers who tugged on the sleeves of their comrades headed into battle, Oakes said, "It's no use boys, we've tried that. Nothing can stand there; it's only for the dead."

Diane Anderson praised Oakes but said of Chatham Manor, "That really needs to be refurbished. . . . The garden's overgrown and not kept up."

Oakes, a history major at Gettysburg College who plans to pursue a career with the Park Service after she graduates next year, exemplifies the system's budget woes. Although she was hired as a seasonal employee, budget constraints meant she had to work as an unpaid intern until Aug. 12, when enough money came through for a promotion.

"It's scary going in, knowing this is what you want to do, but anything can happen to the budget," Oakes said. "And these are factors beyond your control."

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