Government shutdown in 2013 hurt Mother Lode economy

Danny Woods
January 22, 2018

A recording from Shenandoah National Park headquarters in Luray said visitors can go to the park at their own risk, but no park rangers will be on site to assist if there is an emergency.

Shenandoah National Park said the government shutdown will impact its staff, but Skyline Drive and the national park will remain open during the shutdown.

The U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation and Yosemite National Park closed all facilities and recreational services when the shutdown began at midnight on October 1, 2013.

But a spokesperson for the Department of the Interior told reporters, "services that require staffing and maintenance such as campgrounds, full service restrooms, and concessions will not be operating". In that period, national parks were closed to the public. So are park campgrounds, because those are staffed by government employees and volunteers (who are also barred from working during a shutdown). Non-commercially guided snowmobile trips will not be allowed during the shutdown.

According to the Yellowstone press release, interior park roads will remain accessible so long as concessioners provide funds for road grooming.

Many trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and other outdoor activities remain open. Unlike past shutdowns, the parks service says it is trying to maintain some access for visitors.

The park website and social media are now not being maintained.

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Park-specific road, weather and trail condition updates won't be available during the closure.

In a Facebook post, park officials advise visitors to use extreme safety.

The prospect of a government shutdown means the park gate - and the vendor who'd rent you those ice skates - might be closed for business as of Saturday, unless Congress can strike a deal to keep the federal workforce running. Local and state officials in Tennessee and North Carolina eventually paid to reopen the park; they were partially reimbursed for those costs after the shutdown ended.

All government-run operations and facilities are closed.

Access is not restricted on U.S. Forest Service land, but services will be unavailable. Visitors are encouraged to contact those individual businesses for the most current information on their scheduled tour.

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Devils Tower National Monument, Fossil Butte National Monument, and Fort Laramie National Historic site are all closed and access is limited in some cases. We emphasized scientific research and mitigation of climate change; engaging young generations; evolving a more diverse culture of park visitors, advocates and employees; bringing our schools to our parks and our parks to our schools; stressing park urbanization; protecting the natural diversity of wildlife; and so much more.

In western and northwest Wyoming, visitors can ski and snowboard at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee, Snow King and White Pine Ski Area.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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