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Current Info on US World Heritage Closures

 
 
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Author winterkjm
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 8 Oct 2013 03:51 | Edited by: winterkjm 
The US government shutdown began October 1st, 2013.

Mesa Verde ______________ CLOSED
Yellowstone ______________ CLOSED
Everglades _______________ CLOSED
Independence Hall _________ CLOSED
Redwood ________________75% OPEN (All 3 State Park Components)
Mammoth Cave ____________CLOSED
Olympic National Park _______CLOSED
Cahokia Mounds __________OPEN
Great Smoky Mountains _____ CLOSED (But many roads and viewpoints open)
La Fortaleza _______________CLOSED
Statue of Liberty ____________CLOSED
Yosemite National Park _______CLOSED
Chaco Culture ______________CLOSED
Hawaii Volcanoes ___________ CLOSED
Monticello _________________OPEN
Taos Pueblo _______________OPEN
Carlsbad Caverns ____________CLOSED
Waterton Glacier ____________ CLOSED
Grand Canyon _______________CLOSED
Glacier parks ________________CLOSED
Papahanaumokuakea _________CLOSED

*All official NPS websites are also down.
http://www.nps.gov/shutdown/index.html

*US Tentative Properties

Civil Rights Movement Sites_________OPEN
Dayton Aviation Sites______________OPEN
Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks_______CLOSED
Thomas Jefferson Buildings_________OPEN
Mount Vernon_____________________OPEN
Poverty Point State Historic Site________CLOSED
San Antonio Franciscan Missions_____20% OPEN (Alamo open, Sunday services)
Serpent Mound____________________OPEN
Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings________OPEN
Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary__CLOSED
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge_____CLOSED
Petrified Forest National Park___________CLOSED
White Sands National Monument________CLOSED

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 8 Oct 2013 03:54 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Some of these parks in addition to the Smokies have public highways running through them which are important for people to get from A to B - are these roads closed? e.g Yosemite for instance

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 8 Oct 2013 04:08 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Solivagant:
public highways running through them

Some National Parks have important routes through the park (Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, etc). In most of these cases some roads are OPEN. However, all trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, visitor centers, and any other park facilities are closed. Stopping to hike a trail or use a campground could potentially result in a hefty ticket. While the vast majority of NPS employees are on leave. There is a small staff in every park to prevent illegal entries, vandalism, maintenance of park resources, etc.

In most cases this type of visit would not be enjoyable. The Great Smoky Mountains seem to be a partial exception, as many visitors enjoyed the park vistas during the previous weekend.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 8 Oct 2013 04:36 
winterkjm:
Stopping to hike a trail ........ could potentially result in a hefty ticket


Another example of US "Exceptionalism" - a very strange concept over here. If you are hiking a trail and not doing any harm why should you get a "hefty ticket" just because there is no one to take one's entry fee? "Trespass" isn't a crime - damage is. But in US you can get shot for "trespass" !!!

Author elsslots
Admin
#5 | Posted: 8 Oct 2013 09:55 
I wonder how meltwaterfalls is doing???

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 8 Oct 2013 11:25 | Edited by: winterkjm 
elsslots:
I wonder how meltwaterfalls is doing???

It is not that difficult to have a rewarding and enjoyable trip in almost any US state (even without the National Parks or WHS). But for a world heritage enthusiast, it must be frustrating. As an American I feel bad for any world travelers in the US right now. Countless foreign tourists and domestic tourists saved for trips to iconic attractions like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Smithsonian Museums, the National Mall, the Statue of Liberty, and Yellowstone. Many were taken completely by surprise as they approached their destination. Really disappointing.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 12 Oct 2013 13:59 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Grand Canyon National Park has REOPENED starting 10/12 using State funds and donations. This is a temporary 7 day plan. All 5 of the National Parks in Utah have also opened under similar circumstances.

The majority of the 401 NPS units remain closed. Basically, the US government must solve the shutdown/debt ceiling crisis by 10/17. Therefore, some states have chosen to fund their parks for about a week, before all parks are likely, (but not guaranteed) to reopen by Thursday next week.

The Statue of Liberty will REOPEN Sunday, 10/13 using New York State funds.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 12 Oct 2013 19:38 
Meltwaterfalls is collecting photos of closed signs at national parks!

It does seem that some of the parks are tougher to close than they are to keep open, some feel like they are closed as a point of principle. I must admit I agree with Solivagant in terms of the concept seeming odd to a Brit, the fact that it is over access to healthcare makes it even more so I guess.

In terms of my trip I have been able to adapt bits to make it enjoyable but I missed some places I would really like to see (tomorrow should involve a trip to Independence Hall, but I guess I will see how much is closed of when we land and judge from there if it is a visited site or not).

I have family here now, so I guess I will return, but if it weren't for that I don't think the US would feature in my future travel plans. I've visited countries before that have had severe political difficulties (Cambodia) or no government (Belgium) and it has been simple to keep up my travel agenda.

I mostly feel sorry for the businesses around the national parks, the economic impact must be massive for them. I guess it must be seen as a sign of success that nearly a million people can be made unemployed, billions of dollars revenue sucked out of the economy all because of some political brinkmanship and yet people aren't looking at alternative systems of government. Hey oh I guess independence hall is an appropriate place to visit in these circumstances.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 12 Oct 2013 22:55 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Honestly, I am embarrassed. This is one reason why I gave an over-abundance of travel suggestions on LA.

Utah was loosing millions on a daily basis, and they only have 5 National Parks. That's why the Governor of Utah called the White House asking if they could use State funds to reopen the parks. California has 9 National Parks, but little available State funds. So the parks will remain closed here.

This is the first Government shutdown since 1995. It is unfortunate that your travel plans were affected by this.

List of NPS properties REOPENED using State Funds

http://www.nps.gov/shutdown/index.html

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 13 Oct 2013 10:33 
I must admit your recommendations for LA were really useful. We managed to get through the majority of them.

Many countries will have some kind of crazy one off issue like this at some stage, I remember the riots in London a few years ago and if people happened to be tourists in the UK at that time their impressions must have been dreadful. I guess my timing was just really bad.

However the one thing that gets me is the extent to which the national parks are shutdown. I'm currently sat looking at the independence hall and their are barricades and security guards all around, open air structures have been cordoned off when I can't see any reason for it. Amazingly at the liberty bell there is an audio instruction panel specifically to provide interpretation when the visitors centre is closed, but it has been turned off! That is real dedication to restricting access.

Hey ho, things could be much worse, I'm sat out on a bright crisp autumn morning, using free wi-fi and looking at one of the most important places in western political history, so it is not all bad.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 13 Oct 2013 11:19 | Edited by: Solivagant 
A few articles on why the "shutdown" may be being pursued with such gusto - including apparently even where it can be shown that it costs MORE money to shut something down than to keep it open!! Lack of money is clearly NOT the real factor. The first article indicates that past Chief Justice pronouncements have made this shutdown tougher than used to be the case with earlier shutdowns.
Possible aspects include
a. Fear of litigation - it is the most litigious country in the World remember.
b. Genuine fear of damage/loss to property/persons
c. Respect for "The Law" to the very very letter!!
d. Making political points - either to show that Federal activities are very important and/or that the Republicans must be made to take the flak

To me it remains as I said last week an interesting vignette of US culture with respect to "The Law" however unjust or irrational it might be. In UK we are certainly less pedantic on these matters - maybe not as relaxed as some parts of Europe but still, despite a creeping hard lining, capable of regarding the law as "an ass" and acting accordingly!



http://www.parkadvocate.org/qa-do-visitors-really-need-to-be-shut-out-of-national-par ks-during-the-government-shutdown/
http://www.minnpost.com/christian-science-monitor/2013/10/government-shutdown-do-nati onal-parks-really-need-be-barricaded
http://www.policymic.com/articles/66145/government-shutdown-2013-website-removals-and -barry-cades

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#12 | Posted: 16 Oct 2013 19:38 | Edited by: winterkjm 
All National Parks, NPS properties, and US World Heritage sites will be open tomorrow.

Maybe we should make a new connection? WHS closed for extended periods of time because of funding, politics?

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 17 Oct 2013 08:11 
I have a feeling my timing couldn't have been worse.

Oh well, glad it wasn't all just an inconsequential political stunt and has led to real changes and has been put to bed for a long time :)

Hey ho, plus ša change...

Author elsslots
Admin
#14 | Posted: 17 Oct 2013 08:51 
meltwaterfalls:
I have a feeling my timing couldn't have been worse.

When you're old, you can always tell that you have visited the US during a historically important timeframe.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#15 | Posted: 17 Oct 2013 10:21 
elsslots:
When you're old, you can always tell that you have visited the US during a historically important timeframe.

Will use that one.

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