Posts Tagged ‘National Park Service’
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced that as a result of the passage of a continuing resolution providing federal appropriations, the National Park Service have resumed operations effective October 17. All 401 national parks are expected to reopen today, as well as dozens of programs that preserve nature and historic sites and improve access to outdoor recreation in local communities around the country.
“America’s 401 national parks are open for business!” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The professional men and women of the National Park Service are waiting to greet visitors with open arms and help you have the time of your life in these national treasures. Please come out and enjoy the Fall in some of the most spectacular places on the planet.”
At all national parks across the country, from Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California to Acadia National Park in Maine, tour roads, trails, visitor centers and other facilities will reopen, interpretive and educational programs will resume and permits will be issued for special activities. Park concession facilities and other park partners are also expected to start to resume operations today. For information on a specific park, visit the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov.
It didn’t take long for National Park Service employees to begin opening closed gates and taking down barricades after Utah wired a $1.7 million loan early Friday. The loan is enough to keep five national parks and three national monuments open for 10 days.
“This is a practical and temporary solution that will lessen the pain for some businesses and communities in Utah during this shutdown,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a release Friday afternoon. “We want to reopen all of our national parks as quickly possible for everyone to enjoy and call on Congress to pass a clean continuing resolution to open the government.”
It will take an act of Congress to approve repayment of the loan. The Utah Legislature, which will meet in special session Wednesday, could approve money to keep the areas open beyond the initial 10 days.
The loan allows Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef national parks to open, along with Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Natural Bridges and Cedar Breaks national monuments. Herbert said in a tweet Friday afternoon that campground reservations at the reopened parks will be honored beginning Saturday.
Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service has closed all 401 national parks and suspended operation of dozens of community assistance programs.
All park grounds, visitor centers, hotels, campgrounds, and park roads – except for thru ways – are closed. All programs are canceled and permits issued for special events on park grounds nationwide are rescinded.
Park visitors in all overnight campgrounds and lodges have been given until no later than 6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, October 3 to make other arrangements and leave the park.
National parks will remain closed until the government reopens.
The National Park System hosts more than 282 million people per year, and more than 715,000 people per day in October. Those visitors spend about $76 million per day in communities near national parks.
Examples of impacts of a shutdown of the National Park Service include:
- 15,000 people a day planning to visit the Statue of Liberty will have their reservations cancelled.
- All mule trips in Grand Canyon National Park, an iconic tradition dating back more than 125 years, will be cancelled.
- More than 7,500 people a day coming to enjoy Old Faithful and the other splendors of Yellowstone National Park will be turned away.
- The cancellation of thousands of interpretive and education programs and special events at parks across the country.
An October shutdown is costing the National Park Service an estimated $450,000 per day in lost revenue from fees collected at entry stations and fees paid for in-park activities such as cave tours, boat rides and camping.
The shutdown will affect more than 20,000 National Park Service employees, who are furloughed until an appropriation is passed (3,000 employees continue to work, providing essential services, including security, emergency services and firefighting). Additionally, approximately 25,000 concession employees are employed in national parks during the summer and about half of them are still on the job in early October.
Because it will not be maintained, the National Park Service website will be down for the duration of the shutdown, closing off access to 750,000 web pages about national parks and programs. NPS.gov is used extensively for educational purposes and travel planning by 91 million unique visitors every year.
For updates on the shutdown, please visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.