This is a FAQ article about how National Parks are affected by the Government shutdown. Overall, there does not seem to be a significantly damaging impact to closing the National Parks provided that the Government reopens within the next few weeks. Most parks should be reopened a day or two after the Government reopens. While you cannot access the park or travel on park roads, through-routes are still open. All park employees have been furloughed and the only people in the parks are law enforcement. As former Deputy Director of the National Park Service, John Reynolds, puts it, “people want to know why in the world anyone would contemplate doing this to the national parks. What does it have to do with the issues in Washington? The answer is: It has absolutely nothing to do with it. People are absolutely appalled.”
I chose this article because I saw several vehicles parked outside the blocked entrances of Manassas National Battlefield Park, and they were not law enforcement. People are still visiting the parks and making a statement that these parks are too important to close. As John Reynolds describes the issue, there is no reason for closing the parks. And these closures serve as another example of how politicians may clauses to bills or laws designed to inflict damage or give their party a political advantage. While the shutdown will likely end soon, a long shutdown that results in closed parks for a long time could create trouble. Reynolds says that many National Park staff work there simply because they love the parks. They have already been told they are not important and that combined with the outrage of visitors could lead to some pressure in Congress to reopen the parks or pass a new budget.