Budget Shuts Down Oregon Coast Lighthouse; Visitor Center Expands Hours
(Yachats, Oregon) – It's good news for one major recreation area on the central Oregon coast but bad news for another. While the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center will expand its hours after spring break, the sequester recently imposed by the U.S. government has killed tours of a favorite lighthouse in Newport.
The 93-foot Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport has canceled its tours indefinitely due to a hiring freeze in the Department of Interior, which was brought on by the recent budget challenges of the sequester.
The lighthouse is run through the Bureau of Land Management, which until the sequester was going to hire extra seasonal employees to man the tours and the grounds of Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area.
Also because of budget issues: the area's operating hours are only until 5 p.m.
State officials say this will not affect the Whale Watch Week, which starts this Saturday. Volunteers will still be on the deck at Yaquina Head from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
While you won't be able to get inside the lighthouse any longer, there are still the tide pool areas, viewing platforms, that intriguing beach full of oddly large grains of sand and hiking opportunities.
The Cape Perpetua Visitors Center just south of Yachats opens its doors to seven to days a week starting March 24, operating from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
A variety of programs are in the works for this spring and summer. Topics will include tribal cultures, gray whales, forest ecology and tidepools.
The visitor center also has exhibits and films related to the local resources and history of the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, as well as staff to help show you around or answer questions.
A Day Use Pass is required for access to the Visitor Center, facilities and trail system. A Day Use Pass costs $5, but 5-Day and Annual Passes are also great options.
The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center is located three miles south of Yachats on Highway 101 and is famous for breath-taking views of the sea and forest. For more information, please call the Visitor Center at 541-547-3289. http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/siuslaw/home
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