US Government Closes National Parksby Duncan Campbell and Jack Geldard Oct/2013
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The US government is set to temporarily close many National Parks including Yosemite Valley, Joshua Tree, Zion, Mt Rainier, and Grand Teton to name just a few.
The partial shutdown is due to a failure to agree a budget to include President Obama's Healthcare reform. Many services and federal employees are to be stopped until a budget is agreed on.
This has a huge impact on climbers, walkers and general outdoor enthusiasts with the closure of all National Parks until the government either; passes a clean bill, a compromise is reached or the House of Represantives accepts the budget, with talk of it potentially taking up to 17 days.
Here in Yosemite Valley, there is a lot of uncertainty within both the climbing and Park Service communities as to what will happen, with many climbers going up on to El Capitan and other walls to avoid being kicked out of the Park.
We have been informed that everybody must leave Yosemite Valley by 3pm on Thursday, the roads will remain open, but any stopping and use of wilderness and trails within the park will be prohibited. Classic routes such as The Nose were very busy today with many parties using the park closure as an excuse to get on their dream El Capitan routes in the next few days.
The National Park Service website is currently down due to the lay-offs but if you have a trip planned within the next week or so you can check progress on the US Government's Department of the Interior Webpage.