NATIONAL PARKS: Since the winter and spring are high season for the Biscayne and Everglades national parks, the sequester deadline arrives just as the peak of visitors starts to ebb. As a result, park officials don’t expect to have to cut back on staff who work with visitors.
“The mosquitoes will return soon,’’ said Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades National Park. He’s fortunate not to have summer crowds because the sequester would mean losing 17 full-time positions that are currently vacant. Among them: an ecologist supervisor, a senior biologist and Kimball’s deputy.
“It would be challenging,” Kimball said. “Without a deputy superintendent, I’d have to spend more time on day-to-day operations and less time on the ecosystem restoration project.”
FEDERAL CONTRACTORS: At Goodwill Industries of South Florida, production of military uniforms will continue through the sequester. Deliveries might be a problem.
Dennis Pastrana, CEO of the nonprofit, said none of Goodwill’s $25 million worth of Pentagon contracts come up for renewal until May, and most run through 2013. That gives Pastrana confidence that Goodwill can afford to keep its assembly lines staffed well past Friday.
“The contracts we have already been signed and funded,’’ he said. Military officials “say so far we are not going to be impacted.”
Goodwill pairs disabled residents with manufacturing jobs, and the organization produces both military uniforms and flags for the Pentagon. Pastrana said one immediate concern is whether Pentagon cuts will impact the supply chain — leaving Goodwill with products to ship, but understaffed depots unable to accept them. “The warehouse that receives it could be shut down,’’ he said.
Pastrana’s big worry: sequester stretches into the summer or longer: “If this is prolonged for several months, it’s likely they won’t issue new contracts.”
Miami Herald staff writers Cammy Clark, Chuck Rabin and David Smiley contributed to this report.