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Wind Cave to close campground due to budget cuts

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK (AP) -- Wind Cave National Park has closed a campground as it begins implementing 5 percent across-the-board cut in its operating budget due to automatic budget cuts.

Park superintendent Vidal Davila says the budget cuts are forcing the park to close Elk Mountain Campground.

By closing the 64-site campground, the park eliminates the need for two summer maintenance employees and interpretive rangers to present evening campfire programs.

In 2011, 6,600 visitors and their families used the campground, and 1,700 visitors participated in campfire programs.

The media reports that the budget cuts will also mean a reduction in science and research activities, wildlife management programs and shorter visitor center hours during the summer.