How federal shutdown affects outdoor recreation

If you’re planning a hiking or camping trip anytime soon, you may need to change your plans if you’re going to be on federal land.

The federal government shutdown has impacts across the nation. Here’s a roundup of some of the effects for outdoor recreation.

  • All national parks, national wildlife refuges and Bureau of Land Management facilities are closed and gated off. Around here, that includes North Cascades, Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks and Mount St. Helens National Monument. Roads that pass through the parks are still open, such as Highway 20. Other roads, however, are closed. That includes the access to Cascade Pass in the North Cascades, a popular area for fall hikes.
  • Campers already in national parks have two days to pack up and leave. Those planning backcountry trips also will have to cancel their plans.
  • National parks websites are offline. Parks have also stopped posting to their Facebook and other social media pages. The North Cascades Facebook page says “Because of the federal government shutdown this National Park Service Facebook page is inactive. Changes to pass conditions will be announced through WSDOT. We’ll restart the conversation when we get back.”
  • Trails in national forests are open, but campgrounds operated by the Forest Service will be closed. Some campgrounds are operated by an outside group, and those may stay open. Some roads may be gated off. If you have rented a Forest Service facility (or other federal facility), that rental will likely be canceled.
  • The Forest Service websites and social media are inactive.
  • A meeting was planned for Oct. 9 in Everett to discuss what roads the Forest Service should maintain. That meeting is canceled. It will be rescheduled at a later date.
  • The North Cascades Institute headquarters and learning facility are open, and programs will proceed as normal.
  • State parks are not affected.

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