Mt. Rainier National Park Closes due to Shutdown
As the partial Government shutdown enters into the third week, the problems of the federal workers, as well as the common people, have started to increase. The problem now has reached the Mt. Rainier National Park which has closed down vehicle access inside the park.
The last time the park was open on Sunday. It has a closed gate sign at the front. It says the access of all vehicles is prohibited till any further notice.
The closure was due to the lack of staff to clear snow off the road which has been accumulated since Sunday night. As park officials said that significant snow accumulations had begun in the park, including the Longmire and Nisqually Entrance areas and road travel was expected to deteriorate rapidly.
The National Park Inn, restaurant and gift shop, any public services including food or restroom access will also be closed owing to the closure.
Officials of the park strongly recommended against walking on foot in the park.
Officials said that people had been trying to access the park on foot, but there were no parking facilities available by the park, so any vehicle parked in front of the park gate would be on private land. And that may lead to the vehicle being towed. The officials also warned the public not to enter into the park on foot as it would be extremely unsafe and very limited plowing facilities are available for emergency reasons only.
As there has been no progress in the scuffle between Congress and President Trump, the chances of the park being closed for more days cannot be avoided.
The shutdown is not only affecting the workers and officials, but also the visitors.
A recorded statement says that due to unavailability of staff to provide essential services and for not being able to ensure safe access to the park, the park had been closed till further notice.
Many visitors with a plan to visit the park could not even get out of their cars. And some visitors said it was disheartening to see the park gates closed, but he understood the problem at the federal Government and hoped to see the park very soon.
But, it is not just the visitors and federal workers who are affected. The businesses around the park that thrive upon the tourists are also hugely affected. Phil Freeman, the owner of Copper Creek Inn & Restaurant, said that every other stakeholder is going to get compensated, but they, as the private business owners have no recourse.
People here are expecting the shutdown to be resolved soon.
The shutdown impacts the finance of the city and the local economy hugely. It is not fair for everyone. But, people have accepted that the shutdown is a legislative process that had to come as far as we enjoy democracy.
We hope the shutdown to be resolved at the earliest and people should enjoy the park when it is at its best at the snow.