Statement from NPS on status of National Parks during partial government shutdown

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National Park Service News Release (January 6, 2019)

Statement on Protecting National Parks while Providing the American People Continued Access during the Lapse of Appropriations, attributable to P. Daniel Smith, Deputy Director, National Park Service:

“During the lapse of appropriations, the men and women of the National Park Service who have remained on duty have gone to incredible lengths to keep America’s iconic national parks as accessible as possible to the American public. Thanks to the strong relationships that many national parks have built with partners across the country, a number of states, private concession companies, and park nonprofit groups have stepped up to provide millions of dollars’ worth of donations and in-kind services to help over forty parks continue to provide key services for visitors.

“As the lapse in appropriations continues, it has become clear that highly visited parks with limited staff have urgent needs that cannot be addressed solely through the generosity of our partners.


“Over the last few days the Acting Secretary of the Department of the Interior David Bernhardt and the National Park Service (NPS) have explored a number of options to address the maintenance and sanitation issues that have arisen at a number of highly visited parks while keeping our commitment to the American public to ensure they have access to their lands.

“The NPS currently has funds derived from entrance, camping, parking and other fees collected from park visitors that would typically be used for future projects at parks. After consultation with the Office of the Solicitor at the Department of the Interior, it has been determined that these funds can and should be used to provide immediate assistance and services to highly visited parks during the lapse in appropriations.

“We are taking this extraordinary step to ensure that parks are protected, and that visitors can continue to access parks with limited basic services.

“In the coming days the NPS will begin to use these funds to clean up trash that has built up at numerous parks, clean and maintain restrooms, bring additional law enforcement rangers into parks to patrol accessible areas, and to restore accessibility to areas that would typically be accessible this time of year. While the NPS will not be able to fully open parks, and many of the smaller sites around the country will remain closed, utilizing these funds now will allow the American public to safely visit many of our nation’s national parks while providing these iconic treasures the protection they deserve.

“Visitors should go to www.nps.gov and select “Find a Park” for additional information on access to parks and sites in a particular area.”

—National Park Service


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R harper
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R harper

The parks are self supporting through camping and entrance fees; as well as the many campground hosts who camp in exchange for working 24 hours a week! So this b* about parks being closed or having to close them is pure b*! I am presently staying in Ocala forest And the salt springs operation is raking in the money at 40 dollars per night🤪 so nps get off your a** and stop making political statements😜 [R harper — You’ve been bleeped. —Diane at RVtravel.com]

Mwaite
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Mwaite

The NPS/Forest Service/BLM did not decide to stop paying their employees or stop any management of the parks. Park employees do not get directly paid from camping and entrance fees and when you count road maintenance and repair, fire fighting, and other non camping costs parks are not self supported. When the government re-opens their employees will get paid again and return to work. The Salt Springs campsite you are paying for is on the Ocala National Forest, not NPS. I don’t see how the NPS making decisions on how to keep a park functioning when their employees are furloughed… Read more »

ROB KEALEY
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ROB KEALEY

Time for our leaders to get their collective heads out of their (#$@%)es and start working in the interest of we the people. Enough grandstanding- make a deal and move on.

Billy Bob Thorton
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Billy Bob Thorton

So, last time there was a lapse in the budget, and the elected politicians couldn’t play well in the sand box, we the OWNERS of the National Parks (see above article) were locked out. The last time, as you all might recall that administration went out of its way to even punish the greatest generation from attending the open air WWII memorial by setting up steel barricades. That meant they spent money to prevent we the people from enjoying what is ours, not the bureacrates. That was then, this is now. Take a lesson and from this style of leadership… Read more »

Robbie
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Robbie

RIGHT ON!