Government shutdown could mean limited access to national parks

23 January, 2018, 02:18 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • DC leaders, Trump White House point to limited shutdown effects

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.

All buildings at Valley Forge National Historical Park have closed, according to the park's website.

A recording from the Blue Ridge Parkway headquarters in North Carolina said the Roanoke corridor of the parkway is closed for Saturday, Jan. 20, but gives no explanation as to why other sections are closed. Across the country, many parks, which could be opened with relatively small staffs, did not close, even though updates to the National Parks Service site stopped.

"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", he said.

"There is no substitute for National Park Service staff and their expertise, and it is not wise to put the public or our park resources at risk by allowing for half-measures to keep them open", the statement said. For the most part, those plans have not changed now that a government shutdown has occurred.

Jon Jarvis, the former director of the National Park Service, dubbed it "incredibly idiotic".

Zinke said national monuments "belong to the people and not the government", and vowed there will be a "significant difference" between the Obama and Trump administration's handling of a shutdown. However park rangers and concession stands there to serve visitors won't be around to help this time.

The Interior Department, which oversees all national parks in D.C. and everywhere else, is promising that "National Parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible". When people look back decades later, he said, they're "going to be talking about the president of the United States - who was the president at that time?"

Sen. Lindsey Graham blasts White House aides for torpedoing shutdown deal
But amnesty advocates like Graham complain that White House aides like Miller are keeping Trump from making a deal. "As long as Steven Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration we're going nowhere".

Federal courts are expected to remain open, at least through February 9.

"The American public and especially our veterans who come to our nation's capital should find war memorials and open-air parks open to the public", she said.

In Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall - where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed - were closed.

All government-run operations and facilities are closed and entrance stations are not staffed. "As a rule", the plan reads, "staffing will be held to the very minimum for the protection of life, property, and public health and safety".

Knowles also said in an interview with Alaska Public Radio that in addition to the Interior Department's lack of interest in the advisory board, the agency also suspended regulations covering biodiversity loss, pollution and climate change. Federal employees want to ensure that does not happen again.

The park service estimates it will furlough about 21,000 employees.

The shutdown will also affect the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, meaning if you wanted a gun permit, you'll have to wait until the shutdown is over.


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