Katmai benefits from hiring freeze waiver

Feb 22, 2017

National Park’s around Alaska are free to hire seasonal and short term workers as the Trump Administration exempted a range of positions from the federal hiring freeze on Tuesday. 

Tourists observing bears at Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park
Credit NPS/R. Wood

  Audio Transcript:Katmai National Park superintendent Mark Sturm says the freeze hasn’t affected the number of people applying for positions, but has caused some delays in the hiring process.

"Where it has affected us is in our ability to extend offers in a timely manner."

With the freeze lifted, Katmai has started to extend offers and work towards getting applicants on board for spring.

The park generally hires 30 seasonal employees along with a dozen temporary law enforcement agents. Sturm was quick to point that this freeze hit all federal parks, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a frustration.

“We probably would have extended those offers several weeks or a month ago and had things moved up a little bit as far as their arrival here. We are trying to catch up a little bit.  We are not in too bad of shape, but we are little behind yes."

The hiring freeze waiver is in effect until the Office of Management and Budget comes with a revised federal hiring plan. No date has been given for the release of this plan.

"I am feeling very confident that we will be fully staffed and ready to open when the spring comes around."

Even with the exemption, Katmai could still face budget cuts as Congress works toward its federal budget review in April. 

In Dillingham, I'm Lawrence Hamilton

 Contact the author lawrence@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.