Government Shutdown Leads to Closure of Many Bay Area Parks


USA government offices may be locked and most federal employees sent home, but the Trump administration has a plan to blunt the pain of a federal shutdown: It will keep many national parks and monuments open.

Staffing and services at Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and Big Cypress National Preserve are limited as a result. There will be no guides, permits, maintenance, restrooms or access to visitors centers provided. The park staff won't be working, but the gates will be open. "Roads and trails in the park that are seasonally open will remain open", she said in an email to The Mountain Press.

Shenandoah National Park was closed during a federal government shutdown in October 2013 during its peak season, which lasted two weeks.

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According to officials, among the parks closed are Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, Kirby Cove, Fort Mason Great Meadow, Fort Point National Historic Site and more.

From the Lincoln Memorial to Yellowstone National Park, the "CLOSED" signs became ammunition in a fight over government funding. The hang-up appears to be over whether a deal for a new spending bill should also extend immigration protections for people known as "Dreamers" whose parents brought them to the a young age. The Sierra Club, a public lands conservation and environmental group, said that the move prevents embarrassing headlines but endangers the parks themselves.

"Due to the dramatic differences in operations, size, visitation, location, and infrastructure represented in national park sites, the number of employees required to carry out the essential activities defined above will vary greatly from site to site", the plan said.

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Park Rangers in law enforcement roles would still work. "We are not going to weaponize it", Mulvaney said at a White House briefing Friday morning.

"They chose to make it worse", Mulvaney said. 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. Any shutdown under Trump would "look very different", he said.

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