Don't be fooled by Trump admin's national park shutdown ploy

Hoodoo rock formations in Bryce Canyon National Park

Shenandoah National Park was closed during a federal government shutdown in October 2013 during its peak season, which lasted two weeks.

"Parks will be open this time, and they weren't before", Mulvaney said. How does this work, exactly?

While the parks are open, many services like visitors centers and trash collection will not be open. Perhaps fearing yet another public relations black eye if social media were flooded with photos of forlorn kids locked out of scenic vistas, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has instituted a vague plan to keep access to some lands, but without park rangers to supervise them. "Let's go down the list".

"We fully expect the government to remain open, however, in the event of a shutdown, the park will remain as accessible as possible", Park spokesperson Dana Soehn said. "National and regional offices and support centers will be closed and secured, except where they are needed to support excepted personnel".

"We are going to manage the shutdown differently. It's an irresponsible way to run parks", said Theresa Pierno, president of the National Parks Conservation Association.

The exact closure details will vary from one park to another.

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"The reality is that our parks can't operate without the Park Service", Jackie Ostfeld, Sierra Club's Associate Director of the Outdoors Campaign, said in a statement.

"The National Park Service's mission shouldn't be held together by duct tape and bailing wire in order to lessen the public's blowback", said Kate Kelly, a former Interior Department official under Obama.

Other national parks generally are expected to carry out similar plans. The hang-up appears to be over whether a deal for a new spending bill should also extend immigration protections for people known as "Dreamers" whose parents brought them to the U.S.at a young age.

"Keeping parks open with virtually no staff is a risky situation, and the guidance park staff is being given is vague at best".

The prospect of a government shutdown means the park gate - and the vendor who'd rent you those ice skates - might be closed for business as of Saturday, unless Congress can strike a deal to keep the federal workforce running.

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