Iceland’s park rangers will be working about half the weeks they did the year previous, due to cuts made to The Environment Agency of Iceland (UST).
RÚV reports that Iceland’s park rangers work primarily in the summer, making sure demarcations of protected areas are respected, and to see about the general care and upkeep of Iceland’s numerous state parks. Kristín Linda Árnadóttir, the director of UST, confirmed for reporters that their work weeks are going to be drastically reduced.
Iceland’s park rangers worked 205 weeks in 2012. In 2013, thanks to increased funding to UST, those weeks increased 232. This year, however, their work weeks will be reduced to only 125.
These cuts will mean reductions in numerous parts of the country, in different ways. Park ranger weeks in the southern part of the Westfjords, for example, will be reduced from 20 to 9. At Hveravellir and Þjórsá, where park rangers worked 10 weeks last year, there will be no park rangers at all.
Kristín emphasises that UST environmental protection work will not be facing any cuts. However, she said she hopes the number of rangers can be increased, as tourism continues to rise.