If the government shuts down, gates at national parks will be locked, rangers will be furloughed

If Congress does not reach a budget agreement this weekend and the government shuts down, entrances to national parks will be blocked. In addition, thousands of park rangers will be furloughed, according to a statement from the Department of the Interior on Friday.

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Most of the more than 420 national parks will be closed and off limits to the public starting Monday, the Department of the Interior said, according to The Associated Press.

“This means that the majority of national parks will be closed completely to public access. Areas that, by their nature, are physically accessible to the public will face significantly reduced visitor services,” the Department of Interior said.

The public is advised to not visit national parks “during the period of lapse in appropriations out of consideration for protection of natural and cultural resources, as well as visitor safety.”

Governors in both Arizona and Utah said they planned to keep parks like the Grand Canyon open with funding from the state, the AP reported.

Between 13,000 and 19,000 National Park Service workers are expected to be furloughed, the AP reported.

The Interior said that the National Park Service will continue its activities to protect life and property that is necessary. These are ones that are authorized by law. It includes law enforcement and emergency response, fire suppression, protecting federal properties within the National Park System and more.

Additional information can be found at contingency plans across the Department of the Interior said on its website.

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