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Point Reyes National Seashore closes during government shutdown

  • National Park Service officer and Chief Ranger David Schifsky mans a a post at Pt. Reyes National Seashore, closed because of the government shutdown, Thursday Oct. 3, 2013 at Pt. Reyes. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

Her friend, Kaylee Platt, who is visiting from Boston, said the trio would probably find a local brewery and drink the day away.

"I have some choice words for the government right now," she said.

On day three of the federal government shutdown, rangers in the 401 national parks removed the last campers and locked the gates. Dejected visitors from the Grand Canyon to Yosemite were turned away from vacations that many had planned months in advance.

Point Reyes National Seashore Closed

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Mendocino National Forest, Muir Woods National Monument and recreation facilities at Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino that are run by the Army Corps of Engineers were all shut.

Near Point Reyes National Seashore, which sees 8,000 visitors a day in a typical October, the closure was starting to worry small business owners in west Marin County communities such as Olema and Point Reyes Station, who survive on the tourism dollars that the world-renowned park attracts.

Tourists spend $90 million a year in communities around Point Reyes National Seashore, including west Sonoma County, according to the National Park Service.

The closure canceled all park programs and special events including six school field trips and a wedding.

Newlyweds Bowen and Emily Posner from New York had planned their honeymoon to Point Reyes months ago. They were in good spirits when rangers turned them away at the entrance.

"When we heard about the shutdown, we were disappointed, but we thought we'd drive out anyway and take a chance," said Emily Posner, adding that they would spend the day at Tomales Bay State Park.

Dell'Osso said most tourists have left the park in an orderly fashion, even as a steady stream of hopeful visitors continued to try to enter the park Thursday. About 25 rangers will stay on, unpaid, to patrol the park and control access, he said. Ninety employees were sent home on furlough because of the shutdown.


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