Editor’s note: This post is strictly informative and does not contain political views or opinions of Cool Tears Magazine.
On Friday the United States government was unable to agree on a stopgap funding measure to continue government services. While this effects every area of the US government is is crucial to those of us that enjoy the outdoors by spending time in the National Parks.
National parks will remain open during the government shutdown.
While the parks are open, many services like visitors centers and trash collection will not be open.
According to the National Parks Service contingency plan posted on the Interior Department website, last updated September 2017, visitors planning to utilize overnight accommodations and campgrounds will be notified in order to make other arrangements and depart the park. The plan does not specify when notifications will occur and how campers will be reached.
National Park Shutdown Official Update: Park superintendents have the discretion to close areas on a case-by-case basis for the purpose of protecting public safety or natural resources. This means that certain parks, park entrances, or areas of a park may be closed by a locked gate. If you decide to attempt a visit to a national park, make sure you have a backup plan.
1) NPS won't operate its 401 sites. NPS has stopped providing visitor services and facilities are locked. Visitor centers, restrooms, trash collection, visitor information, educational programs, and permits are not available.
2) Roads that go through or around national parks remain open, but won't be maintained (including no plowing). For mountain pass conditions, check with the Washington Department of Transportation.
3) NPS won't operate campgrounds. NPS won't provide services, and facilities are locked including restrooms, showers, check-in/check-out, reservations and trash collection.
4) NPS websites and social media won't be maintained, and there won't be updates on road or trail conditions.
5) At the park superintendent's discretion, individual parks may close sensitive areas that are vulnerable to natural resource damage or looting.
As the days ahead are unsure, please remember to treat our parks with the utmost respect and care, so as to preserve their beauty for generations to come.