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Park visitors grumble as shutdown arrives
Oct 2, 2013 - The Associated Press
JACKSON -- Thousands of visitors to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national park are grumbling and making alternate plans after being told to leave or denied entry because of the budget impasse in Washington.
The neighboring parks attract visitors from around the world, but both parks were forced to furlough hundreds of employees and close.
Zach Gertsch, of Las Vegas, says he has decided to cut his trip to northwest Wyoming short and return home.
At the Irma Hotel in Cody, host Steve Franklin says travelers are livid over being forced out of the parks or denied access.
Gateway communities are seeing rooms fill with displaced tourists on the one hand and cancellations on the other. They expect to lose money if the impasse goes on much longer.f
It's not just the national parks that are affected. Federal land management agencies are closing campgrounds and other facilities around Wyoming as part of the partial government shutdown.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday that it is closing about 4,000 recreational facilities nationwide, including campgrounds, boat ramps and other recreation facilities in Wyoming.
The U.S. Forest Service also is closing offices and at least some of its campgrounds around the state.
The Shoshone National Forest, based in Cody, announced that all its campgrounds and picnic areas are closed until further notice.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest, based in Jackson, put out a similar statement that campgrounds and other developed recreation areas are closed.
General areas of the federal lands remain open for hunting, fishing and other activities.