Big Bend Receives Big Hit From Government Shutdown 10/1/13
CBS 7 news
October 1, 2013
House and Senate Democrats say they'll reject a bid by Republicans to reopen portions of the government including national parks.
They argue the entire government should be reopened not just the parts that Republicans like.
The closure of national parks including The Big Bend National Park is among the most visible effects of the partial government shutdown.
The official website for Big Bend National Park has changed showing only a statement:
“Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating. For more information, go to www.doi.gov.”
Tourists say they were driven away after officials gave them less than 48 hours to leave the Park.
“Can’t go to the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon or the Big Bend,” said Mike Davidson, The Director of Tourism in Brewster County.
He says restaurants, visitor centers, lodging were also shut down.
“It’s dreadful!” said Karen LeFevre, a tourist from Austin, TX. She and her husband wrapped up their vacation just in time. They say October is the beginning of tourist season because of the cooler temperatures.
“The national parks are something the federal government does right,” said husband David Wilcoxen.
The frequent Big Bend visitors know many park employees personally and hope both parties in Washington kind find common ground.
“There's just a general sadness all around,” Wilcoxen said, “All the staff and everybody.”
Roads through the park will remain open and Davison says the state parks in the area will continue to bring in tourists.
“If people are here and are already coming, in many ways they will not be disappointed,” he said.
A limited amount of National Park Service law enforcement will remain to secure the park. Border patrol will also stay in full operation.