Yellowstone, Xanterra Announce Plans In Case of Government Shutdown

Hoodoo rock formations in Bryce Canyon National Park

Hoodoo rock formations in Bryce Canyon National Park. Erik Neumann KUER

Golden Gate National Park Service released a list of park closures on Saturday afternoon due to the government shutdown.

They will close the visitor's centers at Sugarlands, Oconaluftee and Cades Cove, and all the park's public restrooms will be closed in the event of a shutdown, she said.

There will be no permits issued, no educational programs, trash will not be collected, roads and walkways will not be maintained.

"I wish the National Park System and Service well and will always be dedicated to their success".

The shutdown that kicked off at midnight Saturday and will continue into the weekend will be a little different though, as the Trump administration announced that national parks will remain open during the lapse in federal funding.

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The vendors, visitors and gateway communities to our national parks suffered enormously during the government shutdown in 2013 because of deliberate actions by the Obama administration.

The National Parks Service said this week that it planned to keep the parks accessible to the public even though the vast majority of its employees will be placed on mandatory furloughs if the shutdown begins. "Keeping them open without staff is unsafe for both visitors and for the delicate ecosystems in our parks". However, many federal employees will be working without pay for however long the shutdown lasts. Perhaps fearing yet another public relations black eye if social media were flooded with photos of forlorn kids locked out of scenic vistas, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has instituted a vague plan to keep access to some lands, but without park rangers to supervise them. "National and regional offices and support centers will be closed and secured, except where they are needed to support excepted personnel".

In Yosemite's case, that means the park gate will be open although no one will staff it. Still, law enforcement will continue to be present in the forests for visitors who enter at their own risk, he said.

"It's very, very disorganized, maybe because we've been at the brink of the cliff so many times", Cox said.

"We are going to manage the shutdown differently". Entrances to the parks will remain open and businesses within the parks may continue to operate under contingency plans now being finalized with the Park Service.

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