How the Gov’t Shutdown Effects National Parks

Grand Canyon National Park: East Entrance Sign 5189As many of you most likely already know, a shutdown of many of the government’s services is in effect, which impacts a lot of the day to day happenings of U.S. citizens, whether we realize it or not. One way the shutdown impacts us, as outdoorsmen, is that the country’s national parks will be closed until further notice. Keep reading to learn more about how this affects your outdoor treks.

Aside from emergency services, national parks throughout the U.S. will be closed indefinitely, which means that the public will be unable to enter any national parks. Furthermore, visitors camping or staying in a national park at the time of the shutdown were ordered to leave within two days and all roads leading to the parks are to be closed.

How does this impact outdoorsmen? Well, obviously, you won’t be able to travel to any of these parks until the shutdown is lifted and the parks are reopened. Any permits in effect were rescinded, as well, which means a lot of money was spent on passes, permits, and tags for entrance to the parks that are now useless.

Economically, the shutdown of the national parks will be a huge blow on both a large and individual scale. Not only will the communities and small businesses that rely on the parks for their livelihoods be out of customers, but over 21,000 national parks employees will be furloughed during the shutdown, as well.

Now, there’s some hope for the outdoorsmen in the country in the form of legislation that is in the works that will reopen some portions of the government, including the national parks. If the House passes the legislation, gates and visitors centers at the national parks would reopen. If and when the legislation will pass, though, has yet to be determined.

I know right now it’s a little frustrating, to say the least, that many of the country’s most beautiful treasures are closed to those who seek to enjoy them the way they were meant to be. There are, however, thousands of state and local parks throughout the nation that we can visit, though, as well as backcountry territories, so hope is not lost. Patience and faith will be your allies throughout this season in our country’s history, so put on a smile, tie on your boots, and hike where you can, folks; there are still trails to be trekked.