Government Shutdown Leads to Closure of Many Bay Area Parks

Ruben Ruiz
January 22, 2018

"In the event of a shutdown, national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures", Olympic National Park spokesperson Penny Wagner said by email. Entrance stations will not be manned, although people will not be barred from entering.

At the Carbon River Entrance, visitors can still access the trails that start in that corner of the park. Guided snowmobile trips with commercial operators are allowed but non-commercially guided snowmobile trips will not be allowed during the shutdown.

Yosemite Hospitality, a subsidiary of the concessionaire, Aramark, was working on an agreement with Park Service staff Friday evening.

Some federal lands remained open, like Pinecrest Reservoir in Tuolumne County, which experts surmised was due to differing objectives among federal land-management agencies as well as a practical inability to enforce the closure. Visitors will not be asked to leave campgrounds unless there is a life and safety risk.

People will still be able to drive within a national park if it's a through road, and some sites and related hiking trails, for example, might be accessible.

Ranger-led snowshoe hikes will not be available. It has been an honor and privilege to serve on this Board for the last seven years with remarkable individuals who have committed their time and talent to ensure the stewardship our National Parks and prepare them for the enjoyment of future generations.

Yellowstone will provide limited emergency response during the government shutdown. Website and social media will not be updated.

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All park buildings, including the visitor center and restrooms are closed.

Devils Tower National Monument: Access is unavailable. In Dallas, the George W. Bush Presidential Center and its museum remain open during the weekend, though its research room and other archival activities will be closed for the duration of the shutdown, according to a news release.

Locally the Saratoga Battlefield national park is closed, Martin Van Buren historic site in Kinderhook and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt sites are also closed in Hyde Park, N.Y.

National Elk Refuge: Sleigh ride tours on the National Elk Refuge through Double H Bar will continue as previously scheduled. "All of our visitor centers will remain closed during the shutdown period".

In a Facebook post, park officials advise visitors to use extreme safety. Interior says it "will still allow limited access wherever possible".

The scene on the Mall contrasted dramatically with the last government shutdown, in 2013, when park officials erected barriers around the monuments to keep the public out.

Access is not restricted on U.S. Forest Service land, but services will be unavailable. Visitors are encouraged to check the roads hotline (209/372-0200, press 1 then 1) for current conditions.

Other reports by GizPress

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