2013-09-26 / Front Page

Park is closed, roads open to through traffic only

Erik Skindrud / GAZETTE EDITOR

Yosemite National Park is officially closed due to the federal government shutdown. Vehicle through-traffic is still permitted, however, and visitors with lodging reservations are being allowed to stay through Thursday afternoon.

Close to 600 non-essential Park employees will be furloughed for the duration of the shutdown. "A little over 100" employees, including law-enforcement and a skeleton crew of management staff, will remain on duty, Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said on Tuesday.

The Park's normal fee-collection staff at entrance stations will be replaced by law-enforcement officers during the shutdown. Vehicles will be allowed to pass through the Park and over the Sierra via Tioga Road during the shutdown, Gediman said.

Non-Park staff will be prohibited from visiting Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point or the Park's Sequoia groves during the closure.

"The restrooms are closed, because we don't have employees to clean them," Gediman said. 

The last time Yosemite National Park closed due to government shutdowns was 1995 and 1996. The Park stayed closed for a total of 27 days in November, December and January.

During the 1995-96 shutdowns, Mariposa County lost an estimated $10,000 a day in tourist tax revenue. Close to 25 percent of Mariposa County-based workers were unemployed for the period. 

Read the MARIPOSA GAZETTE on Thursday, Oct. 3 for more on the government shutdown and what it means for county workers and businessowners.


Law-enforcement rangers are manning Yosemite National Park entrance stations like the Park's south entrance near Fish Camp, seen here. Photo: KMPH-TV.Law-enforcement rangers are manning Yosemite National Park entrance stations like the Park's south entrance near Fish Camp, seen here. Photo: KMPH-TV.







Vehicles wait to pass through Yosemite National Park's Arch Rock Entrance Station in April of 2012. Erik Skindrud/THE GAZETTEVehicles wait to pass through Yosemite National Park's Arch Rock Entrance Station in April of 2012. Erik Skindrud/THE GAZETTE





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How come the news always

How come the news always fails to mention the concession employees who may also be out of work during the shutdown with no back pay to look forward to.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Gazette is

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Gazette is looking to interview Delaware North Companies employees affected by the government shutdown. To share your views, call 966-2500 or email Erik@mariposagazette.com. All comments must include a verifiable name and phone number.

Thats a big shame that it

Thats a big shame that it comes down to this. Yosemite is my favorite National Park and the government needs to get their stuff together. The park created thousands of jobs and is the biggest earner for the state of California.

Given that Yosemite has been

Given that Yosemite has been preserved for the benefit of the nation, it is not surprising that the local economy is almost totally dependant on tourist dollars. If you prohibit any commercial exploitation in the traditional forms of say, logging, fishing or mining, then there is little else for people to do. Closing the park hurts everyone including don't forget visitors from abroad. For the local stores in neighbouring towns it's really make or break, struggling through recession hit seasons just trying to make a living. These are decent folks who pay their taxes which fund things like - national parks for example. No one wants to sell a 'I went to Yosemite and it was closed' T shirt and I don't want to buy one either.

I feel that Mr. Galen Clark

I feel that Mr. Galen Clark would roll in his grave today knowing that the beautiful park he helped to create is being used as a political chess piece. Why not shut down the Iraq or Afghanistan war for a day and furlough the troops. That would save way more money...probably enough to run all the National Parks for a year or more.

See what happens when you

See what happens when you base your economy on the park? Don't think you need good jobs from commercial and industrial businesses? Think it's great to get your piece of Mariposa and then close it off to economic development? Get Mariposa's economy weaned from the park and build an economy based on growth and libertarian principles. GROW MARIPOSA AND LONG LIVE THE TEA PARTY.

My plans to climb Half Dome

My plans to climb Half Dome with 6 friends and family during next week just got flushed down the drain. Apologies go out to Savoury's, Charles Street and Best Western in advance of our cancellations. Tell me we are not loosing our freedoms to come and go to public lands.

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