Posts tagged: shutdown
PUBLIC LANDS — Glacier National Park in Montana is open and welcoming visitors today after a 16-day federal government shutdown that closed all national parks across the country.
At Glacier, approximately 250 park employees were furloughed during the shutdown while 20-30 employees continued to work during the shutdown to manage the park closure and provide for protection of federal lands, waterways, buildings, equipment and other property owned within park.
The park’s website and social media sites were reactivated today and barricades at park entrances and throughout the park were removed.
Park road crews began monitoring roads, including conducting a sweep of the Going-to-the-Sun Road to clean debris/rocks from the road. When the road is clear of debris, public access will be available to Big Bend through Sunday, Oct. 20.
Apgar, Bowman Lake, Kintla Lake, Quartz Creek and St. Mary Campgrounds are open to primitive camping.
The Apgar Visitor Center is open every weekend, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Info: 406-888-7800.
UPDATED 10-17-13 at 9:15 a.m.
FISHING — A deal that ended the federal government shutdown tonight is reopening national wildlife refuges and parks sometime on Thursday.
Here is a statement issued Thursday morning from Superintendent Foster:
“We are proud to be a part of this area and are happy to welcome visitors back to the park. We express gratitude to the public as there are great people in this area that have displayed understanding and respect during this difficult time.”
Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area has a significant effect on the local economy. Together, the economic impacts from visitor spending, federal jobs created, and jobs created in the local market supporting local tourism are estimated to be over $40 million a year generated in the communities around Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area. The economic impact of closing Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area for 16 days has been extremely difficult on local communities, businesses, neighbors, and park partners. We look forward to working with you on ways to lessen that impact.
PUBLIC LANDS — As the federal government shutdown advances to Day 11, I was buoyed by this headline and story today:
Utah loans federal gov't $1.7-million to open 5 national parks
On Saturday, the five national parks in Utah, as well as Natural Bridges, Glen Canyon and Cedar Breaks national monuments, will reopen after the state signed an agreement to loan $1.7-million to the federal government, enough to keep them open for 10 days.
But we can't get our hopes too high in Washington — where we're not even adequatley funding our STATE parks.
Maybe a caffeine high will be our salvation:
Starbucks launches petition drive to get government open again
On Friday, petitions seeking the reopening of the federal government will be available at all 11,000 Starbucks shops in the United States.
Although many people and businesses are suffering this week in all walks of life, my outdoors column on Thursday highlighted some high prices recreationists are paying for the budget impasse in Washington, D.C. Here's a summary as we head into the weekend:
All 401 national parks are closed, including Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area and the public boat launches for the Columbia River Reservoir. Note: Free boat launching is available at Two Rivers Marina, owned by the Spokane Tribe.
National Wildlife Refuges are closed. That means hunters with special elk permits for Turnbull Wildlife Refuge are out of luck, waterfowl hunter who would be using blinds at Columbia and Kootenai national wildlife refuges and locked out and fishermen who would by catching trout at Bayley and McDowell lakes are prohibited from entering the refuge until the shutdown is over.
Forest Service offices are closed, which means outfitters can't get permits for their seasonal activities and neither can woodcutters, all of whom are on a deadline delivered by the seasons regardless of what goes on in Washington, D.C.
Hunters are finding campgrounds closed as they head into the opening of deer and elk seasons.
Anglers are finding streamflow information on U.S. Geological Survey water websites and fish passage numbers from the Corps of Engineeers are not always up to date.
Hikers trying to finish the months they've devoted to completing the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail are being blocked at the national park boundaries, such as at North Cascades National Park, and told they have to stop or re-route.
Other stories to ponder as the arrogancen in D.C. continues:
Shutdown halts logging project in Idaho, puts sawmill in peril
Brad Jensen, the owner of Jensen Lumber Co., the sawmill in Ovid, is just one of a number of timber contractors who were told to stop logging in Idaho because of the federal government shutdown, and Jensen said the cessation of the work puts his entire business at risk.
Wyoming national forest sends its concessionaires packing
Grand Teton National Forest had kept its concessionaire-operated facilities operating despite the Oct. 1 government shutdown, but they were told to pack up and leave as the shutdown continued, which means Granite Hot Springs in the Wyoming forest closes today.
National wildlife refuges off-limits to hunters as federal shutdown continues
Upland bird hunters in South Dakota, duck hunters in Montana and antelope hunters in Colorado won't be able to hunt on national wildlife refuges this weekend as seasons open but the federal government remains closed.
Montana governor says state won't pay to open national parks
Gov. Steve Bullock said he would not use state funds to open state parks as he believes the federal government should re-open it its entirety, including the payment of death benefits to members of military families who lost loved ones.
PUBLIC LANDS — My outdoors column today highlights some personal stories of individual recreationists impacted in a big way by the continuing government shutdown that's closed federal services and some federal lands since Oct. 1.
Here are more details about some of the overall costs:
Report tracks shutdown's costs to national parks
A report issued by the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees said that the federal government's shutdown that closed national parks and monuments has cost the U.S. economy $750 million in the first ten days, with Yellowstone National Park representing $9,452,054 of that loss; Glacier National Park $3,076,712; and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where visitors travel in October to view the eye-popping fall foliage, has lost $23 million.
Shutdown throttles businesses in Utah community near Zion NP
October is usually a busy time of year for Springdale, as tourists stop in the Utah town on their way to or from Zion National Park, but the shutdown has left the community's streets quiet, although the IMAX theater in town, which is now showing documentaries about the park, which is, for now, the only way to experience the park.
—Salt Lake Tribune
Utah governor offers to loan Interior Dept. money to open national parks
Gov. Gary Herbert said he talked with Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell on Wednesday and offered to loan the federal government the necessary money to get national parks and monuments in the Beehive State open again, and he said that his offer has precedent, as Arizona loaned the federal government money during the 1996 shutdown to keep the Grand Canyon open.
NATIONAL PARKS — They waited years to draw a permit and planned for months for their big float down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon — one of the greatest whitewater trips in the world.
BOATING — The trout are getting break at Lake Roosevelt as the public boat launches continue to be closed by the National Park Service.
“We’ve been given direction for the duration of the shutdown that all National Park Service facilities are closed for visitor recreation activities,” said Dan Foster, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area superintendent in Grand Coulee.
He said today that the boat launch areas will continue to be barricaded until Congress resolves the federal government shutdown.
“I don’t blame people for wanting to go boating on the lake. I know the fishing has been good and this weekend especially is supposed to be really nice.
“But the closures are part of the direction we’ve been given, and as superintendent, I have no latitude for changes.”
FISHING — Online posting of fish counts over dams on the Columbia and Snake river is being delayed for some dams because of the federal shutdown.
The counts are keenly watched by anglers this time of year as they monitor salmon and steelhead movements during the upstream migrations.
The Fish Passage Center has been posting the counts as soon as it gets them through channels dealing with the shut-down U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
BOATING — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District has announced that while some of its campgrounds and other facilities will be temporarily closed during the federal government shutdown, many other boat launches and sites will remain open if they're supported by local partner groups.
Sites NOT AFFECTED by the shutdown on the Clearwater and Snake rivers include:
Dworshak State Park, Ice Harbor Marina, Boyer Park, Chief Looking Glass Park, Gateway Park, Hells Canyon Resort, Clearwater Park, Clearwater North/Lewiston, Chief Timothy Park, Wawawai Park, Lyons Ferry Marina, Lucky Peak State Park.
Sites NOT AFFECTED in the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla areas include:
Two Rivers Park, Columbia Park, McNary Yacht Club, Hat Rock State Park, Pasco Boat Basin, Chiawana Park, Columbia Park West, Duportail Boat Launch, Sacajawea State Park, Walla Walla Yacht Club.
Note to salmon/steelhead anglers on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia:
The White Bluffs boat ramp in the Hanford Reach National Monument apparently has been closed by the government shutdown, forcing more anglers to pack into the state-managed launch areas at Ringold and Vernita Bridge.
Read on for the just-issued media release with details from the Corps of Engineers.
PUBLIC LANDS — While national forest lands are still accessible during the federal government shutdown, facilities are not, including a twist I had not thought about in my previous posts:
“One addendum to your blog about facilities affected by the gov't shutdown,” writes Aaron Thiessen of Spokane:”Forest Service (and other federal) rentals are closed, too.
“I just got a call that our reservation for this weekend at Snyder Guard Station has been canceled until further notice.”
UPDATED 1:05 p.m.
BOATING — The hot fishing for rainbow trout that's been reported in recent weeks at Lake Roosevelt might cool off for lack of anglers.
This includes campgrounds, marinas, boat launches and concessions operations, the supervisor's office said today.
Park Service officials just confirmed that they will be putting up barricades at the entrances of campgrounds and boat launches.
There are no state-managed access sites on the 125-mile long reservoir.
Read on for more details in a press release issued by the Lake Roosevelt NRA at 1 p.m. today:
HUNTING — Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge officials are hoping Congress sorts out its issues, passes a budget and reverses the government shutdown that went into effect today.
Refuge manager Dan Matiatos told state wildlife officials that if the shutdown continues through the weekend, hunters with special elk controlled-hunt permits will not be allowed on the refuge.
Refuge staff pans to contact affected hunters beginning tomorrow, but they're holding off as long as possible to see if things get sorted out today. Washington muzzleloader elk hunts open Saturday.
Following is a press release just issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding area refuges:
Cheney, WA - The Federal Government will be closed as current funding expired on September 30, 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is very much aware that any lapse in appropriations imposes hardships on those we serve. Due to this event, the Turnbull and Inland Northwest National Wildlife Refuge Complex office will be closed to the public.
For programs experiencing a lapse in appropriated funding, only limited functions would continue, such as those necessary to respond to emergencies and to protect human life or property. While a lapse in appropriations remains in effect, public access to Service properties will be prohibited and fish and wildlife management activities and public programs will be cancelled. All Refuge field trips and school programs, hunts, and public access will be canceled during the shutdown.
Additional information is available at DOI.gov/shutdown and oneINTERIOR.gov, as well as at OPM.gov, which will contain information about the government’s operating status on Tuesday, October 1, and the days following.