The closure of National Parks and Monuments in America.

Travelling to America takes a lot of time, money and effort for some it may be a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to explore some of the 388 National parks that are located in America. It is estimated that 275 million people from America and around the world visit America’s national parks each year.

The National Parks offer amazing vistas of rivers,lakes, waterfalls, canyons and mountains, that can be viewed at the  likes of the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park  which are must visits for any tourist to America. Unfortunately though from October 1st these parks have been forced to close to the public.

It’s just not the National Parks though it is also the National Monuments, who has been to New York, one of the first things you want to see is the Statue of Liberty. In San Francisco you want to go to Alcatraz and then in Washington DC, a city filled with monuments and the world-class Smithsonian museums.  I’m sorry these are also off-limits to the public too.

How did this all happen and without much warning. I’m not American so I know little about their politics and it seems complicated as I’m observing this from abroad.  It all seems to stem from the House of Representatives (Lower House of Congress) has refused to pass what is known as the “Continuing Resolution” to authorize the US government to spend money into the new fiscal year that runs from October 1st, 2013 to September 30th, 2014.

The government now has no legal authorization to spend money, federal employees , federal contracts  and bills cannot be paid by the Treasury Department. Therefore everyone has been sent home and everything closed. Federal police, the military, air traffic controllers and the like are to  report for work, but there is no money authorized to pay them or any other federal  employees.

Andy Lisowski, an employee of the Library of Congress (The National Library of the USA) in Washington DC has been affected personally while on a vacation in Spain he  tuned into BBC to follow the closure of  the  US Government. He was expected to return to work on Tuesday but no one knows when the government will reopen or when paychecks will resume.  He is forced to be on furlough along with thousands of others.

Nicholas, a tourist from England is worried what he will do. He has been to 12 cities in the US and had planned to visit Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion National Park as well as Canyon Lands. “The cities were great but these parks would have been the cherry on the top”. He has a booked flight, non refundable and leaves from Chicago on the 25th.

It is just not tourists or workers for the government that have been affected what about all those little towns and villages that rely heavily on the tourists who come to the National park . The towns that people stay at, buy food and groceries for their time in the park. These too will be affected,in 1995 and 1996 the last time the government forced the closing of the National parks, these towns lost around 14 million dollars a day in revenue, the prediction now is around 30 million a day. I’m guessing these towns are wanting things to change and to change fast.

I’ve heard that  people have suggested to others to go to the parks any way, ignore the signs, the barricades and enter the parks. You may be able to do that but there is no parking, lodging, camping or food available. The trails in these parks too are sometimes very far from these entrances that would also make it near impossible to gain access.  You could also be escorted out of the park or even arrested for trespassing as security has not been furloughed.

Each day this painstakingly affects more people, draining money from the still struggling economy. This will come to an end but for how much longer do tourists, workers and the American citizens need to suffer for something they have had no control over.

Has your holiday or life been affected by what has been happening in America. We would love to hear about it, so don’t be afraid to leave a comment.

I would like to thank Andy Lisowski  who was a valuable source for this blog.  www.travbuddy.com/Andy99

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4 thoughts on “The closure of National Parks and Monuments in America.

  1. My recent blog on what I called the “Politics of Inaction” (http://ispocklogic.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/politics-of-inaction/) is perhaps a pessimistic look at American politics, but I think many citizens are becoming fed up with politicians and their inability to do their jobs. The government shutdown policy in closing of open air monuments to me is ridiculous. I am on furlough from NASA and am told I may have to apply for unemployment pay if the shutdown lasts much longer. They even shut down the computer servers and you can’t look at NASA’s webpage (nasa.gov). Just like the open air monuments, is it really necessary to turn off websites? It’s an unfortunate situation for visitors to America that they cannot enjoy the parks and monuments. Sometimes governments are just plain stupid in behavior and don’t reflect the ‘will of the people’ at all, but partisan bickering among political leaders who don’t seem to have a grip on reality.

    • Sorry to hear that you have been furloughed, Brian. I hope things get cleared up soon and everyone can get back to work soon. My friends in Japan have been discussing this and we were wondering when the people eventually go back to workers will they be compensated by having their salaries back paid. We are guessing they won’t be. It is even more ridiculous that they have closed down websites too.

  2. American politics are confusing even for those of us who live here….. It would be lovely if the political people (All of them from the president down) would think of America and what is best for it …. instead of themselves.

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