National Parks Facing The Shutdown

Friday, April 8, 2011 - 8:44am

A government shutdown will ruin the vacations of thousands of National Park visitors.

If lawmakers in Washington fail to reach a budget deal by midnight a lack of federal funding will shutdown the National Parks.

Lawmakers must agree to a budget that would continue to staff and maintain national parks, but a stalemate is preventing them from doing so.

"We are sitting on pins and needles hoping an agreement will take place and the park won't be closed", said Jeff Hentz, Executive Director of Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau.

Tourism makes up 70 percent of revenue for Mariposa County.

Now business owners are bracing for the worst.

"We can tighten our belts too, but things like this would push us over the edge", said Douglas Shaw.

Shaw is the owner of Yosemite Bug Mountain Resort.

He says he's considering layoffs if the park closes.

Some tourists who were visiting Yosemite on Thursday knew of the park’s impending fate and said that’s why they came during the weekday to get one last look.

Park officials are not allowed to comment.

There were no closure signs or preparations underway.

However, if lawmakers don’t reach a deal soon the park would close Friday at midnight and all the guests would have to leave within 48 hours.

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