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Thread: Looming Government Shutdown: Will it cancel a visit to a National Park?

  1. #1

    Looming Government Shutdown: Will it cancel a visit to a National Park?

    Just curious if anyone here has a planned visit to a national park in the next few weeks. If the government shutdown occurs on October 1, National Parks will be closed.

    I don't have any plans until Thanksgiving, so hopefully, if there actually is a shutdown, it would be resolved by then.

    <<political comment>>
    I'm not a fan of the Affordable Healthcare Act, but Republicans need to get over it. They lost this one.
    <<end political comment>>

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  3. #2
    I am going to Yellowstone next week. I don't foresee any problems though. If there are budget issues it could possibly cause certain lodges or campgrounds to close. Or possibly reduction in rangers or staff, but I think the parks themselves will stay open.

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  4. #3
    They've been doing this now for the last 5 years...they'll strike a deal in the 11th hour. Nothing will be shut down. The Republicans now damn well they won't get what they want, they're just making sure everyone knows where they stood on this mess when it kicks in and everyone says WTF is this?
    Life is what you make it. Everybody knows that...right?

  5. #4
    Zion in the first week of November.
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  6. #5
    As the shutdown gets closer I've been doing a little more reading on the subject. I think I was wrong. The national parks very well may close. At least until a new spending bill is signed. USA Today listed 66 Q&A's about the shutdown. This is two of them:

    20. Can I visit national parks? No. The National Park Service says day visitors will be told to leave immediately, and entrances will be closed.

    21. What about campers already in the parks? They will be given two days to leave.

    This is just my luck. Haven't visited a national park all year, and when I finally make plans to go to one this happens! :mad:

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  7. #6
    I'm also curious what "closed" means; you can't "close" a park. Gates closed, no cars allowed in? That would be awesome if it means hikers/bikers are allowed to sneak in. I would love to bike through Yellowstone with no cars/services open, you'd have the road to yourself!

    Or, does it mean all trespassers will be shot on sight. Not so cool.

  8. #7
    Just a big dog n pony show. If things close it will be to show the citizens "See??? This is what will happen if you don't pay us more money."

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  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Sombeech View Post
    Just a big dog n pony show. If things close it will be to show the citizens "See??? This is what will happen if you don't pay us more money."
    You must not remember what happened seventeen years ago. It was a mess; the national mall was the most-obvious result.

    I just got off the phone with BLM about my trip to Paria Canyon Wilderness in November. They said if you already had gotten a permit (ex. Coyote Buttes North/South), you could still visit. But they did intend to enforce. I don't know who'd be doing the enforcing if there's a shutdown.

    EDIT: I just read a fact sheet from the DoI; law enforcement and emergency response remain operational.

    I'm not really sweating it right now, but I'm guessing my permits will be delayed some.

  11. #9
    Y'all too young to remember 1995? I was shut out of Joshua Tree over Christmas that year. All roads were blocked/barricaded. I'm curious to know what Zion did at that time.
    It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life... or death. It shall be life. - Ten Bears, "The Outlaw Josie Wales"

  12. #10
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    Yep, Parks will be closed. But, I wouldn't worry too much about it.


  13. #11
    Just talked to someone at Yellowstone on the phone. They said there is a very real chance it will close. All depends on Congress at this point I guess.

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  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ahansen60 View Post
    Just talked to someone at Yellowstone on the phone. They said there is a very real chance it will close. All depends on Congress at this point I guess.
    Did you have camping permits or any fees already paid? Sorry about your plans. There's gotta be plenty of "Plan B" opportunities in the area though.

  15. #13
    Canyon Wrangler canyoncaver's Avatar
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    Very few plan B opportunities in that area that aren't also federal property.

  16. #14
    Screw it...torch a bowl and watch a South Park marathon instead. That'll cheer ya up.
    Life is what you make it. Everybody knows that...right?

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  19. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by accadacca View Post
    And on Yellowstone's Anniversary, too. (123rd) Google did a doodle for it (methinks, a little jab at the Congress).

  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Byron View Post
    Screw it...torch a bowl and watch a South Park marathon instead. That'll cheer ya up.
    Ya, easy for you to say now that Colorado has legalized weed. The rest of us suckers outside of Colorado and Washington have to rely on grandpa's purloined Percocet.
    !!!CORONAVIRUS PSA!!!

    • Toilet paper won't save you from Covid-19.

  21. #18
    Who's going to shoot you? All the park staff will be gone within the next 72 hours. There are a number of options to get into Yellowstone without using the official N, E, S, and W entrances and although entering isn't exactly legal, the same non-existent people who will shoot you on site will also be the ones issuing tickets for not having a backcountry permit. If you decide to go in spite of the park being closed, make sure you take all necessary bear precautions - grizzlies this time of year are ravenous and can be very aggressive, and despite declining numbers the backcountry is full of them.

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by utahmen View Post
    Who's going to shoot you? All the park staff will be gone within the next 72 hours. There are a number of options to get into Yellowstone without using the official N, E, S, and W entrances and although entering isn't exactly legal, the same non-existent people who will shoot you on site will also be the ones issuing tickets for not having a backcountry permit. If you decide to go in spite of the park being closed, make sure you take all necessary bear precautions - grizzlies this time of year are ravenous and can be very aggressive, and despite declining numbers the backcountry is full of them.
    from the DoI; law enforcement and emergency response remain operational. This shouldn't come as a surprise...any opportunity to generate revenue from trespassing fines would never be turned away.
    !!!CORONAVIRUS PSA!!!

    • Toilet paper won't save you from Covid-19.

  23. #20
    From going to any National park site......
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