ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – Hours after the partial federal government shut down, officials at Rocky Mountain National Park announced some changes for visitors ahead of the Christmas holiday.
“Rocky Mountain National Park will be accessible to the public during the lapse in federal appropriations. However, Rocky Mountain National Park staff will be unable to fully staff park properties. Park visitors are advised to use extreme caution if choosing to enter the park, as park personnel will not be available to provide guidance or assistance. Emergency services will be limited. Any entry to the park during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk. All rules and regulations still apply.
“No visitor services will be provided. Services that require staffing and maintenance, such as entrance stations, the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, Moraine Park Campground, and some restroom facilities will not be operating. Roads that are already open will remain open, weather and road conditions permitting. Park staff will not issue permits, conduct educational programs, collect trash, maintain restrooms, maintain roads or walkways in the event of snow or ice, or provide visitor information. No overnight parking or camping allowed.
“Roads or areas in Rocky Mountain National Park may be closed during the government shutdown if conditions warrant. If that does occur, we will be unable to update that information via email or on the park’s website or through social media,” park officials said Saturday morning.
Officials at the Dinosaur National Monument, which saddles the Utah-Colorado state line, echoed similar precautions.
“Monument roads and trails at Dinosaur National Monument will remain accessible to visitors, unless safety concerns warrant their closure. Emergency and rescue services will be limited. There will be no NPS-provided visitor services at Dinosaur National Monument, including public information, restrooms, trash collection, and facilities and roads maintenance.”
The government partially shut down at midnight after the House and Senate failed to pass a spending bill. President Trump insisted he would not sign the bill that did not include $5 billion for a border wall.
Holiday travel plans are not expected to be affected due to the shutdown. The post office will stay open, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents will still work. Secret Service and Customs and Border Patrol agents will continue to work.
The funding that expired at midnight covers the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the State Department, the Interior Department, the Departure of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development and others.
More than 420,000 other federal employees would have to go to work without pay. More than 380,000 will be furloughed. Those who work, and those who are furloughed, will get paid eventually.
Some civilian federal employees in Colorado have been furloughed and might be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits while they are out of work.
“While there are 53,200 federal workers in Colorado, not all of them will be impacted by the potential federal shutdown,” said the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.