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Trespassing an issue in parks during fed shutdown

Trespassing an issue in parks during fed shutdown

Oct 9, 2013 - The Associated Press

JACKSON -- National Park Service rangers in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks have been issuing trespassing citations to people found in the parks, which have been shuttered amid the budget impasse in Washington.

"We have issued nine citations," Grand Teton park spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said Monday. The citations have primarily been over the last two days, she said.

In addition to assessing fines, rangers have warned other park visitors and turned still others around, Anzelmo-Sarles said.

Anzelmo-Sarles didn't have the dollar amount of the fines handy.

In addition to closure violations, citations for taking a vehicle off-road and for resource damage have also been issued in recent days, she said. In Yellowstone National Park, there have been no "widespread" issues regarding closure violations, spokesman Al Nash said.

"I know a few citations have been written," Nash said. "We do have a fairly robust boundary patrol in conjunction with hunting season on land surrounding the park."

The national parks closed last week after Congress and the White House deadlocked over spending priorities and the new health care law.

About 510 National Park Service employees in both parks have been furloughed.

People cited for trespassing in Grand Teton included cyclists, runners and drivers taking vehicles around temporary barricades.

"For the most part, people have been very good and we appreciate the help of the local community," Anzelmo-Sarles said. "There is still a very small percentage of people who have lashed out and actively tried to violate closures."

One person earned a citation after an illegal excursion ran long and his tardiness returning worried his friends.

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