Limited services at Glacier during shutdown

December 22, 2018

Services at Glacier National Park will be limited during the government shutdown, the park announced Saturday, but roads and trails will still remain accessible.

According to a press release from the park, during the shutdown of the federal government due to the lapse of appropriations, national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures. Park roads and trails in Glacier National Park will remain accessible to visitors, but emergency and rescue services will be limited.

There will be no Park Service-provided visitor services at Glacier, including public information, restrooms, trash collection, and facilities and roads maintenance. Vault toilets may still be available though will not be maintained. Plowing will be limited to areas that serve residential areas.

Park Service social media and websites also are not being monitored or updated and may not reflect current conditions.

According to the Associated Press, about 16,000 National Park Service employees - 80 percent of the agency’s workforce - are being furloughed during the shutdown.

According to information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Forest Service, some activities will be shut down or significantly reduced and some USDA employees will be furloughed.

“However, certain USDA activities would continue because they are related to law enforcement, the protection of life and property, or are financed through available funding (such as through mandatory appropriations, multi-year discretionary funding, or user fees),” a press release from the department noted. “For the first week of a potential shutdown, 61 percent of employees would either be exempted or excepted from shutdown activities. If the shutdown continues, this percentage would decrease, and activities would be reduced as available funding decreases.”

Forest Service activities that will continue in the short-term include:

• Forest Service law enforcement, emergency and natural disaster response and national defense preparedness efforts.

• Forest Service employees will continue to work on managing and maintaining the current forest system lands and sustaining the health and safety of the lands for their continued use.

Forest Service activities will not be continued amid a shutdown include:

• All recreation sites across the U.S National Forest System, unless they are operated by external parties under a recreational special use permit.

• New timber sales.

• Most forest fuels reduction activities in and around communities.

The USDA shutdown plan is online at https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/usda-shutdown-plan-summary.pdf

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