While Interior Department officials publicly refuse to discuss how failure to avert the “fiscal cliff” might impact national park operations, internally they’re telling National Park Service staff that nothing should change in the short term, National Parks Traveler reported last week.

In an e-mail distributed throughout the Interior Department’s realm — National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, and Office of Surface Mining — Deputy Interior Secretary David Hays urged calm despite the seeming lack of progress by Congress and the president to resolve the budgetary mess.

“Many of you have raised questions regarding the impact of a potential sequestration for the Department of the Interior and its bureaus and offices, and I would like to take a moment to clarify a few things,” Hays said in an email distributed system-wide on Thursday. “First and foremost, it is important to keep in mind that the administration remains focused on working with Congress to reach agreement on a balanced deficit reduction plan that avoids such cuts. Sequestration was never intended to be implemented, and there is no reason why both sides should not be able to come together and prevent this scenario.

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