If Parks Stayed Open, No One Would Notice The Government Shutdown

For several days now I have been highlighting article after article (here and here) where the only service downside of the government shutdown anyone can come up with is the closure of parks.  Here is another example, from the AP entitled "Lawmakers feeling heat from Government Shutdown".  Its all parks:

Some 800,000 federal workers deemed nonessential were staying home again Wednesday in the first partial shutdown since the winter of 1995-96.

Across the nation, America roped off its most hallowed symbols: the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the Statue of Liberty in New York, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, the Washington Monument.

Its natural wonders — the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Smoky Mountains and more — put up “Closed” signs and shooed campers away.

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia said he was getting pleas from businesses that rely on tourists. “The restaurants, the hotels, the grocery stores, the gasoline stations, they’re all very devastated with the closing of the parks,” he said.

The far-flung effects reached France, where tourists were barred from the U.S. cemetery overlooking the D-Day beaches at Normandy. Twenty-four military cemeteries abroad have been closed.

Only 22,000 of those 800,000 run parks.  Apparently none of the others do anything we will miss.  Oh, they come up with one new one:

Even fall football is in jeopardy. The Defense Department said it wasn’t clear that service academies would be able to participate in sports, putting Saturday’s Army vs. Boston College and Air Force vs. Navy football games on hold, with a decision to be made Thursday.

Eek!  I joke about this but I fear that today this is going to bite me right in the butt.  Our company operates campgrounds on land we lease from the US Forest Service.  Since we pay all expenses of the operation, take no government money, and employ no government workers, we have never closed in a shutdown and the US Forest Service confirmed at noon yesterday we would not have to close this time.  But apparently someone above the US Forest Service somewhere in the Administration is proposing to reverse this, and illegally close us.  My guess is that they realize parks are the only thing the public misses, and so the Administration trying to see if it can close more of them, even ones that are operated privately and off the government budget.

Update:  This is very similar to what is happening in DC.  By trying to close us, the USFS is actually costing themselves more money (since we pay rent to them based on our revenues) with the only goal being to make the closure worse.  The Administration has ordered the same thing to occur in DC parks, where they are spending far more money "closing" monuments than they do just having them open all the time

Yesterday, the sight of a group of World War II veterans storming the barricaded monument built in their honor in Washington, D.C., became the buzzworthy moment from the first day of our federal shutdown.  The open-air, unmanned outdoor memorial had been barricaded to keep people from "visiting" due to the government shutdown, though there was no real (as in “non-political”) reason to have done so. Barricades certainly wouldn’t prevent vandals from busting in there at night if they wanted to. It was an absurd, petty move.

This morning, Charlie Spiering of the Washington Examiner returned to the memorial to find a gaggle of “essential” government workers there to barricade it once again. He tweeted that the employees fled after cameras started filming them working, but then came back to attach “closed” signs. A couple of them appear to be talking to the media. The barricades are apparently there, but have not been tied together and are therefore easily removed.


  1. Joe_Da:

    It should be apparent to everyone that the stunts currently being played this administration have nothing to do with the government slow down.
    The same with the stunts related to the sequester.

    Irrespective of whether you think the Republicans are to blame or whether the Democrats are to blame. These are simply stunts.

    It costs more money to put barricades and to enforce the trespassing than to leave the guards in place
    Government websites are down. It costs more to shut the websites down and display the no access notifications than to leave the websites up and running. A few government websites have been shut down, NOAA for example has several sites shut down. The IRS website is currently up.

  2. GlowballWarming:

    BarryCades. ObamaCades.

    Bad move fencing off an open space so respected WW2 Vets are deprived of their moment.

    Bad move.

  3. MNHawk:

    Firemen first principle of government, on perfect display.

  4. WB:

    This would be funny if it didn't reveal how desperately vain our elected officials are for us to notice them. Miley Cyrus has nothing on these comedians.

  5. MingoV:

    The federal government is pulling the same nonsense that school boards commonly do whenever proposed budgets are voted down. A board would respond with a budget that omits funding for all sports, bands, choruses, field trips, library book purchases, art classes, etc. "Look what you made us do!" The voters wised-up in my school district, rejected three proposed budgets, and let school board members know that they'd be voted out at the next election if they didn't draft an acceptable budget. They did.

  6. Rick C:

    Can you get a judge to issue an injunction to keep the barrycades away?