Posted: Sep 30, 2013 12:55 PM by John Sherer
Yellowstone National Park spokesman, Al Nash says if a government shutdown takes place, the world's first and oldest National Park, will close down.
Nash says all gates to the park would close and visitors staying in park campgrounds or hotels would have 48 hours to leave. New visitors would not be allowed entry and day users would have to leave the park.
Nash says 260 park employees would be furloughed beginning Tuesday. Another 45 would join the furlough ranks if the shutdown lasts more than a few days. That would leave slightly more than 100 park employees who would attend to essential services such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, water and waste water services, and plowing of park roads. According to Nash, employees who face furlough already received notice, but all have been told to report to work Tuesday or their next scheduled day. Once they reach the park they will be told if they are working or not.
While park entrances would be closed, those gates would still be staffed to turn people away, or to allow essential workers or deliveries in. People who live in the communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City, who can only get to their homes during winter months by traveling through the park, will also be allowed through the gates. Those residents already have special stickers allowing them to travel through the park to their homes. But, they would not be allowed to stop and use park facilities, such as hiking trails.
A portion of U.S. Highway 191 passes through the far northwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park. Nash says that road would remain open in the event of a closure, but he says people will not be allowed to use park trails along the highway. He says park rangers will patrol the road and would enforce no-use rules, traffic regulations and other park rules during any shutdown.
The park is scheduled to close interior roads for the winter, on Monday, November 4th this year. Some of those roads would re-open to snow coach and snowmobile use only, once enough winter snow has accumulated.