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Govt shutdown affecting CP parks?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ali Miller, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Ali Miller

    Ali Miller

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    To those in the know: What impact has the shutdown had on national parks in the Colorado Plateau? Zion? Cap Reef? Grand Canyon?

    Not here to talk politics, just wondering about the parks, their staff, and the outlook.
  2. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Yes, it is affecting the parks. The standard roads into the parks are closed and gated.

    One of my FB friends was supposed to start a new job at Arches today, but couldn't.

    Moab was a ghost town when we were there last weekend. I haven't seen it that empty in 30 years. The hotel and tourist industry is hurting. Restaurants were pretty empty. Some hotels didn't have any cars in the parking lot.

    There are good deals though. The Aarchway was only $50 for a really nice room with a breakfast buffet. The same rooms are $300 a night in the tourist season.

    Places like Springdale are really cheap too. It looks like the Bumbleberry is only $65 a night; Majestic View is $69 a night; and the Pioneer Lodge is $69 a night online. It is probable that they are giving discounts on top of that as well.
    Ali Miller likes this.
  3. Sandstone Addiction

    Sandstone Addiction Headed South

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    Most should be opening the gates soon.

    https://www.ksl.com/article/4646258...hs-national-parks-despite-government-shutdown


    Services to resume at Utah's national parks despite government shutdown


    WASHINGTON — Rep. Rob Bishop delivered a letter earlier this week to the acting Secretary of the Interior requesting they take “emergency measures to resume operations” at National Parks in Utah.

    Acting Secretary David Bernhardt approved the request Sunday morning, stating that services will resume to national parks within a few days.

    Bishop’s letter was also signed by Utah Reps. Chris Stewart and John Curtis, who both represent congressional districts in which there are national parks. Bishop requested that appropriate action be taken so that park officials could maintain cleanliness and perform rescue operations as needed if any individuals were injured in the park during the shutdown.

    Bernhardt was already in the process of responding to the issue and quickly got a modified plan approved by the Office of Management and Budget, Bishop said in a statement.

    “The directive provides for the use of recreation fee funds, where available, to clean up and maintain restrooms and sanitation, trash collection, road maintenance — which includes plowing, campground operations, law enforcement and emergency operations, and staff entrance gates as necessary,” Bernhardt said in his letter.

    He added that the changes should go into effect in a few days, with bigger parks like Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks being addressed first.

    Following his receipt of the Department of the interior’s letter, Bishop said in a statement that he was "immensely grateful to the administration for the decision to restore services at our national parks in the midst of this shutdown."

    "Oftentimes, grandstanding and theater can distract us from the important governmental task of providing safety and security," Bishop added. "This decision will enhance safety and add protections to all those who choose to recreate in Utah’s parks.”

    To read the full memo by Bernhardt, click here.

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  4. Sandstone Addiction

    Sandstone Addiction Headed South

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    I guess I should add that there are no canyoneering permits being given out at Zion, so canyoneering routes are technically off limits.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    The Park is not in a position to issue permits, but the Park is open for recreation. Please respect the goals of the permit system, limit your party size to 6 or 12 (as normal), limit crowding by acting like adults in the unlikely event that you encounter other groups, and do the other adulting-canyoneering things like don't leave litter and do a good job of taking care of you and yours. SAR resources are extremely limited - don't use them.

    And again, it is winter and it just snowed a bunch. So it ain't exactly a lazy summer afternoon out there. Be responsible, stay safe.

    Tom
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Effects of the shutdown vary from Park to Park. And from week to week. Apparently the road in Arches NP is closed, gated, and not plowed. In Zion the through road is open and plowed... and has the usual quite hazardous icy patches where the sun does not reach. Usually around blind turns. (Despite my lackadaisical driving style, by vehicles have stayed on the road there, though they have danced from time to time.)

    I heard the Scenic Drive in Cap Reef was gated and closed, and people were getting tickets, mostly for driving around the gates. Which is a more-serious offense than driving on a closed road.

    Other Parks - who knows??? But the key point here is that it varies from Park to Park, and could vary from day to day.

    Tom
    Ali Miller likes this.
  7. Jenny

    Jenny

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    From Leave No Trace-Center For Outdoor Ethics:

    "Desperate Times Call for Leave No Trace Measures

    -Four Leave No Trace Musts for the Government Shutdown-

    You've read the disturbing stories reported from our national parks, now that the partial government shutdown has moved into January. The situation is serious—wildlife picking through bins piled high with trash, latrines overflowing with waste and unfettered off-roading in fragile ecosystems. With 85% of National Park Service employees furloughed, rescue services are limited and maintenance continues to be deferred.

    Please consider our most important recommendations for the duration of the shutdown:

    1. Develop a Plan B: Choose an alternative to national parks and other federal lands if it is at all possible. The country has many vast and sweeping state parks and municipal lands, many adjacent or nearby. So if you can, give our national lands a breather.

    2. Pack Out ALL Trash: Plan ahead and prepare takes on an elevated meaning during the shutdown. Make sure that you equip yourself with extra bags for any potential trash that you generate and plan to remove all of it from the park. Pack out trash left behind by others to lessen potential impacts on wildlife and waterways, and the environment in general.

    3. It's Time To Try: Given that many restroom facilities on federal lands are closed or already compromised, the use of biodegradable, disposable toilet-in-a-bag-type products is essential. Even if it has never been in your repertory, this is a tremendously important commitment you must make to protect wildlife, water sources and fellow users. Contact your local outdoor retailer and ask if they have Restop, Clean Waste or comparable products so you can pack out your human waste.

    4. Share Well With Others: With a lack of critical personnel on site are areas, many visitors will not receive important Leave No Trace information they would otherwise absorb from rangers. Share Leave No Trace far and wide with those around you. You may find that people are very receptive to hearing from you during the shutdown.

    Most importantly, if you are enjoying federal lands, do so with a gentle touch. All of us here at Leave No Trace hope, for the sake of our beloved outdoors, that the shutdown ends soon. If it continues, we will share more information with you about efforts to help by our thousands of passionate members and partners. We will also continue to bring you the best Leave No Trace information to help you make good decisions about enjoying our shared lands responsibly during this precarious time."

    (Thanks to Chris Gorzalski for sharing this.)
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  8. Sandstoned

    Sandstoned

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    get these lawmakers in the Pit in Poe and dont offer any partner assistance out of the Pit until they have worked out a satisfactory deal and open the damn government please
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  9. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    “To divide the cockeyed world in two
    Throw your pride to one side, it's the least you can do
    Beatniks and politics, nothin' is new
    A yardstick for lunatics, one point of view

    Who cares what games we choose?
    Little to win, too much to lose [op-ed]

    Good sense, innocence, cripplin' mankind
    Dead kings, many things I can't define
    Occasions, persuasions clutter your mind
    Incense and peppermints, the color of time”
    Strawberry Alarm Clock

    A sad waste of resources all around, the color of our time.

    Really like Jenny’s requoted suggestions. Trash piling up is particularly unsettling to me. Come on folks! We visit NPs to commune with nature and we can’t pack it out...truly amazing!
  10. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    Just an update all this:

    Zion NP is not issuing permits therefore all permitted routes (including backpacking) are closed since you would be engaging in a permitted activity without a permit.
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Canyoneering in Zion National Park during the shutdown that would normally require a permit is specifically prohibited.

    I visited the Visitor Center today, which is open with one or two rangers on duty to answer questions, and inquired about this issue. The ambiguity on the website and press release is being attended to.

    Basic services in the Park are being maintained (trash pickup, cleaning toilets, some limited tunnel management) with the help of the State of Utah, Zion Forever and Washington County... for as long as that coalition decides they can take it. If you'd like to support this effort you can donate to Zion Forever, which I think of as the shallowest pocket in this triumverate... https://zionpark.org/

    Tom
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  12. Jolly Green

    Jolly Green

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  13. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    That’s correct Tom, just wanted to make sure that everyone was aware reading this forum.

    Hopefully it will end soon.
    Ali Miller and Tirrus like this.
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