May 20, 2018

Amid Shutdown, Services Limited at National Seashore

23 January 2018, 01:50 | Darrell Baldwin

Andrew Harrer Bloomberg via Getty Images A National Park Service ranger removes a closed sign from the Lincoln Memorial after the 2013 shutdown

Andrew Harrer  Bloomberg via Getty Images
A National Park Service ranger removes a closed sign from the Lincoln Memorial after the 2013 shutdown

Officials say Yosemite National Park in California is open to visitors despite the government shutdown but there'll be nobody to greet them, help them navigate the trails or even make sure they're in the right campground.

Despite the government shutdown due to a lapse in funding, some federal operations - like Shenandoah National Park - are still open to the public but with limited access.

At the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, an online message says some areas are accessible, but this could change without notice.

Many key tourist attractions and national parks have had their regular operations disrupted due to the U.S. government shutdown, which began on Saturday. Refuge staff will not be posting to social media sites.

The federal government shutdown is impacting Shenandoah National Park and may be impacting the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Aric Dupre, who traveled from Cincinnati for a weekend vacation with his wife, Kat, said they were disappointed.

While the parking lot was closed, rangers were allowing visitors to park outside the park and hike in.

Zinke said public parks, monuments and the battlefields "belong to the people and not the government", and noted that people will see a "significant difference" between the Trump administration and Obama's in the way public lands are managed during a shutdown.

Big Bend National Park remained open to visitors Saturday, but the visitor center was closed. "The visitors centers are closed in Wawona and the Valley, and all the services generally provided by the NPS are not available". Visitors can access the road from Gardiner to the Northeast Entrance and all the commercial services along that route. Visitor activities in Dubois and Lander include guided snowmobiling, the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center and Sinks Canyon State Park.

Access to Yellowstone National Park's south entrance will continue, including staging and winter services that are now available at Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch. The Grand Teton National Park Foundation will continue grooming the park's Teton Park Road for ski access.

The Trump administration has National Park Service officials across the country to maintain public access at parks "unless access presents a serious and imminent threat to human life, safety, or health, or a serious and imminent threat to the condition of a sensitive natural or cultural resource".

The Bureau of Land Management released a similar statement saying they'll be as accessible as possible and remain open to the public, but with limitations. It will operate under its normal hours from 9 5 p.m. Others have partial services with limited staff as part of a plan worked out in recent days by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

With out-of-town travelers making up the bulk of visitors to the New River Gorge, some worry about what a long-term shutdown could do to the local economy.

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