National Parks & The Government Shutdown

Published Oct 1, 2013

Government shutdown closes national parks.

Government shutdown closes national parks.

Well, our government "shut down" at 12:01 AM this morning.

Were we a trained journalist, we would make no attempt to call the morons who run our government "morons." However, due to the fact that we are merely a lowly freelance writer with less training than the average White House spokesperson, we will speak our mind and call the morons in Washington "morons." Thank you.

The Facebook page for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail concisely put the affect of the shutdown into perspective:

Because of the federal government shutdown, this National Park Service Facebook page is inactive. We'll start the conversation again when we get back.

The Department of Interior has a shutdown fact sheet named "Contingency Plan One Pager Summary" online.

You may Click Here to read it.

The Department of Interior has a shutdown Frequently Asked Questions document online.

You may Click Here to read it.

The Biggies

  • All national parks will be closed and secured.
  • Guests staying in hotels and campgrounds will be notified of the closure and given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park.
  • Permits for special events will be rescinded.

This is only temporary. Probably.

We'll be frolicking in the forest before long. Probably.

And we'll elect more morons to run our government. Definitely.

Details from the Department of Interior Contingency Plan One Pager Summary

As stated in its original authorizing legislation, the National Park Service mission is to "preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations."

The National Park Service manages over 84 million acres in all 50 States and Territories in 401 park units that preserve, protect, and share the history of this land and its people. Nearly 287 million people visited the national parks in 2012 and NPS works to provide visitor services in partnership with over 250,000 volunteers.

Services and programs that will remain operational:

  • Law enforcement including the U.S. Park Police and emergency and disaster assistance.
  • Firefighting and monitoring.
  • Border and coastal protection and surveillance.
  • Limited management of ongoing projects that are funded from non-lapsing appropriations.
  • Access to through roads.

Services and programs that will be ceased:

  • All national parks will be closed and secured.
  • Visitor centers and other facilities will be closed.
  • Education programs and special events will be canceled.
  • Permits for special events will be rescinded.
  • Guests staying in hotels and campgrounds will be notified of the closure and given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park.


Tags: Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, and Closings

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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