How Has Closure Of The National Park System Impacted You?
There are the obvious impacts tied to the closure of the National Park System due to the partial government shutdown: guests forced to leave the parks, gateway communities losing business, concessions operations in flux.
There are many personal stories, as well. We list a few below shared on our Facebook page and from press releases, and ask you to share your own.
* Kansas river runner Hilary Esry last year landed a permit to run the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park beginning next Monday. The trip was to fulfill a 20-year dream. Now it's up in the air, as the park shut down river launches Tuesday.
“We have friends flying in from as far away as Alaska on non-refundable tickets and have spent over $17,000 so far in NPS fees, food and equipment rental. I have a contract with the federal government allowing me to launch ... I can’t tell you how nerve wracking this is for our trip.”
* Kim Sammartano: "I live on St. John. Our island is three-quarter national park (Virgin Islands National Park). Many tour companies cannot run their trips. The beaches are closed. People come here to get married on beautiful national park white sand beaches & they can't do that now. Many vacations have been ruined and local businesses are losing income."
* Ruth Norman: "Just glad we made the trip from Georgia to Yellowstone in June and thinking how ticked off I would've been if this had happened. Remembering how many visitors we saw from other countries and thinking how ridiculous this makes our nation look! Praying for all the great employees affected adn hoping the insanity stops soon!"
* Elizabeth Freeman Carter: "It's a beautiful day here at the closed gates of Acadia. I bet the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain was awesome! And I can almost taste the popovers at the Jordan Pond House....almost."
* Sarah Drab: "I'm training for a half marathon and I always train in Cuyahoga Valley National Park... Now I have to use the metro park trails that are too close to the street and not nearly as beautiful."
* Julie Trevelyan: "Yesterday was fairly intense at Capitol Reef National Park. The few law enforcement rangers left to work had to deal with frustrated crowds (and it is very crowded right now, since this is peak season in Utah's parks). Plenty of visitors are in the general area, and there are a lot of questions about what is open, what is allowed to visit, what can people still do. It's a huge blow for small gateway communities like Torrey to absorb a drop in tourists and spending right now, at the end of the season, not to mention all the furloughed employees who suddenly have no paycheck. Although hiking in the park is shut down for now, there are still several great drives that are allowed, not to mention there is a ton of stuff to do in the surrounding area. So even though it's a challenging time indeed, there's still a lot to see and do around here! We need visitors (as do, I'm sure, all the other small towns around other shut down nat'l parks)."