McClintock: Government Shutdown Will Not Close Yosemite

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Sunday he has chose to keep many national parks open during the government shutdown because the tourist spots should not "be weaponized".

Zinke spent part of the weekend cleaning up trash on the Mall, and later gave a group from IL a guided tour of the World War II Memorial.

During the last government shutdown, monuments were blocked off with barricades and parks were closed, an obvious inconvenience to tourists.

While expected to work, some of these federal employees won't be paid until the shutdown is over. "Be aware that there will be no National Park Service-provided visitor services, including restrooms, trash collection, facilities, or road maintenance", according to a statement on the National Park Service website. Visitors centers will be closed and rangers will not be on the job. "It leaves in limbo thousands of federal employees, contractors and their families in South Jersey and across the country who can not return to work".

Rock Creek Park will remain open for anyone who wants to walk or jog along the trails, even though it's a national park. "We just got a memo about this yesterday". National forests will remain accessible, but are not officially open, said Agriculture Department spokesman Tim Murtaugh in an interview.

National Parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures. Local economic considerations were such a big factor during the 2013 government closure that five governors ultimately agreed to pick up the tab for reopening at least a dozen national parks.

Park trails at the summit and in Kipahulu remained open, but "emergency medical response is extremely limited", park officials said earlier.

Bikers at Shenandoah National Park
Bikers at Shenandoah National Park

"It's basically a minimal staffing", he said. According to CNN, the last time the US government shut down, in 2013, races that went through national parks were also affected.

And Bowser said she has called on her agencies "where we are able, to step in for the federal government".

The 2013 shutdown cost the economy an estimated $20 billion, according to an estimate from Moody's Analytics. So over the next 16 days, Republicans took most of the heat for the 800,000 furloughed staff and the shuttering of agencies like FEMA, the FDA, and, most critically, the country's national parks.

The historic park in northwest Wyoming was open under a blanket of fresh snow on Saturday. But the National Park System also includes buildings like Ford's Theater in Washington, where President Abraham Lincoln was shot, and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed.

Military bases: During federal government shutdowns, essential personnel, like those in the military, are not furloughed.

So it's not clear-to either the public or park staff-what to expect Saturday in the event of a shutdown.

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