Sequester Could Affect Lake Texoma and Hagerman - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Sequester Could Affect Lake Texoma and Hagerman

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- With 85 billion dollars in budget cuts expected, the sequester will be affecting federal agencies across the nation. That means places in Texoma like Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Texoma will likely see some impacts.

Hagerman is a federal agency which means its funds are allocated thru Congress.

"We are expecting is a 5% decrease in our national yearly funding," says Rick Cantu, Wildlife Refuge Specialist.

For the refuge that also means a possible hiring freeze.

"All vacancies or positions that were not accepted before Feb. 21 were frozen so those individuals are not able to come on with the Fish and Wildlife Service," says Cantu.

The refuge hopes by not hiring back those positions it will keep them from having to furlough current employees.

"The only thing that we were told of that may be furloughed or positions not filled is the fire program within the Fish and Wildlife Service," explains Cantu.

Basically that means controlled burns for the refuge are on hold right now until further notice.

Officials with the Army Corp of Engineers say they're not sure how Lake Texoma will be affected by the cuts.

"At this point our budgetary cuts down to this locally level is not yet known. There is still quite a bit of uncertainty," says B.J. Parkey, Manager of Lake Texoma.

The lake as a whole uses a budget of about 1 billion dollars. Any percentage of that cut will create some changes.

"There are a lot of scenarios out there, there are a lot of mistruths, there are a lot more unanswered questions then there are answers at this point in time," says Parkey.

Overall Hagerman isn't too worried, at least right now.

"When you look at a 5% cut versus are you going to be able to show up at work tomorrow, you know its essentially night and day, so at this time, we are pretty happy about that," says Cantu.