National parks shut down due to government shutdown

National parks shut down due to government shutdown

(KFVS) - Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks, including those operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), have been closed.

These closures entail all 401 national parks and campgrounds, including the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

At Ozark National Scenic Riverways, 15 employees remain on duty to provide security, protection, emergency response, firefighting and to maintain water and waste facilities.

The park has furloughed almost 60 employees and 40 concession employees.

Amemities on the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways will be closed.

The public will not be able to access the parks. Park visitors staying at the Big Spring Lodge and Cabins and in the park's campgrounds will be asked to leave no later than Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m.

The USACE said in a news release that campers may want to leave their campsite reservations open for use after the government shutdown. Campers can also receive a refund for any unused portion of their reservations.

All upcoming events in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways will be canceled and special events will be relocated, including the Haunting in the Hills at Alley Spring Oct. 12 and 13, if the government shutdown is still in effect.

Normally, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways hosts close to 80,000 visitors during the month of October.

Those leasing areas from the USACE parks will remain open, but they cannot be supported by USACE services.

Nationwide, the shutdown has furloughed more than 21,000 National Park Service (NPS) employees. About 3,000 employees remain on duty to ensure healthy, safety and security at the parks and facilities. About 15,000 park concession employees are also affected.

The NPS website at www.nps.gove and campground reservations at www.recreation.gov will close as well.

The USACE will post current information on the nationwide closure and reopening of facilities at www.usace.army.mil. You can also click here for more information locally on the St. Louis District's website.

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