Zinke: Parks shouldn't be bargaining chip in shutdown showdown

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Each park will post signage which started: "Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) is unable to fully staff the properties under its management".

Hikers and bikers were surprised to find the Blue Ridge Parkway closed at the Rockfish Gap entrance on Saturday.

At Gettysburg National Military Park, roads, memorials and trails will remain accessible to visitors, but emergency and rescue services will be limited.

Some areas of the Colonial National Historical Park will remain open including certain areas on Jamestown Island, Colonial Parkway and Cape Henry Memorial.

Most campgrounds have already been closed for the season, and the ones that normally remain open will have no restroom facilities available.

Xanterra (zan-TEHR'-uh) Parks & Resorts and other private companies that serve visitors at Yellowstone said they would groom Yellowstone's snow-packed roads for up to a week to keep them open for snowmobiles and snow coaches - small buses with tank-like tracks.

Knowles had said the concerns of the resigning panel members included climate change and a difference in policies regarding the hiring of diverse candidates by the U.S. National Park Service.

Spokesmen for the Alibates Flint Quarries and Lake Meredith National Recreation Area said they remain open during the weekend and are still awaiting guidance to know if they will be open on Monday. Local economic considerations were such a big factor during the 2013 government closure that five governors ultimately agreed to pick up the tab for reopening at least a dozen national parks.

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According to the park's website, the museum and visitor center will stay open.

And Kate Kelly, public lands director at the Center for American Progress and an Interior official during the Obama administration, accused Zinke of "using the national parks as pawns in some political game".

We ask them to work with other members of Congress and the administration to provide major investments through annual and dedicated funding to address the national park fix backlog.

National Parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures.

He hopes an agreement in the federal government can be reached. He then spoke with garbagemen who will be picking up trash on the Mall one last time before the city of D.C. takes over for them.

"Good thing I didn't have my heart set on seeing the Statue of Liberty", said Catherine Crichlow, 29, of Cincinnati, a web developer who was visiting NY for the first time. Fort Point will also be closed.

Now, with Congress at an impasse to fund the federal government, the Department of Interior made a contingency plan to minimize the impact on visitors. Other federal employees are furloughed. "[The Department of the] Interior has a really noble mission: being the stewards of our greatest treasures", Zinke said.

"It's very frustrating when we're being held hostage", Burnam said. For other civilian government employees, they will likely be furloughed until the government returns.

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