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How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2018, 01:25:01 PM »
I would look into the state park, which is just to the west.  Friendlier staff, less crowds, etc.
Just don't take the camp sites I already reserved!  HAHA
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

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Offline CC

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2018, 02:32:54 PM »
Here is the NPS contingency plan for a funding related shutdown .

https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/2018_01_nps_contingency_plan.pdf

Visitor Services
- Park roads, lookouts, trails, and open-air memorials will generally remain accessible to
visitors, but there will be no NPS-provided visitor services, including restrooms, trash
collection, facilities and roads maintenance (including plowing), and public information.
- As a general rule, if a facility or area is locked or secured during non-business hours
(buildings, gated parking lots, etc.) it should be locked or secured for the duration of the
shutdown.
- The NPS will not operate parks during the shutdown – no visitor services will be
provided. The NPS will not issue permits, conduct interpretive or educational programs,
collect trash, operate or provide restrooms, maintain roads or walkways (including
plowing and ice melting), or provide visitor information.
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- If visitor access becomes a safety, health or resource protection issue (weather, road
conditions, resource damage, garbage build-up to the extent that it endangers human
health or wildlife, etc.), the area must be closed. Parks may not bring on additional staff
to accommodate visitor access.
- The NPS will cease providing services for NPS-operated campgrounds, including
maintenance, janitorial, bathrooms, showers, check-in/check-out and reservations.
Visitors in campgrounds will not be asked to leave but should be advised that no services
will be available. In addition, visitors holding campground reservations for a later date
will be advised that the NPS is not operating campgrounds, including providing checkin/check-out services during a shutdown. There is no guarantee their reserved campsite
will be ready and available should they arrive during a government shutdown.
- Park websites and social media will not be maintained. Parks will not provide regular
road or trail condition updates. As a part of their shutdown activities, park staff will post
signs notifying visitors that no visitor services, maintenance or other management
activities will be conducted, and emergency and rescue services will be limited.
- At the superintendent’s discretion, parks may close grounds/areas with sensitive natural,
cultural, historic, or archaeological resources vulnerable to destruction, looting, or other
damage that cannot be adequately protected by the excepted law enforcement staff that
remain on duty to conduct essential activities.
- At the superintendent’s discretion and with approval of the Regional Director or Director,
parks may enter into arrangements with local governments, cooperating associations,
and/or other third parties (see below for concessioners and Commercial Use
Authorization holders) for donation of specified visitor services. The NPS will not
reimburse third parties (through payments, franchise fee relief or any other consideration)
who provide such visitor services. If NPS staff will be conducting the work using funds
from a third party, funds must be transferred and deposited before the NPS may continue
or resume providing visitor services. The Washington Office will provide template
agreements. Agreements should not be established for a period of less than three days.
Because a shutdown of park operations may take up to two days, parks should begin
shutdown when the balance in the donation account falls below a two-day balance.
- In general, enforcement actions should be reactive rather than proactive. Parks should
not take measures to keep visitors out of an area unless access presents a serious and
imminent threat to human life, safety, or health, or a serious and imminent threat to the
condition of a sensitive natural or cultural resource.

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Offline badknees

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2018, 03:12:11 PM »
"If visitor access becomes a safety, health or resource protection issue (weather, road
conditions, resource damage, garbage build-up to the extent that it endangers human
health or wildlife, etc.), the area must be closed."

I suspect that this clause with be the impetus for closure.
Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline RichardM

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2018, 04:08:59 PM »
"If visitor access becomes a safety, health or resource protection issue (weather, road
conditions, resource damage, garbage build-up to the extent that it endangers human
health or wildlife, etc.), the area must be closed."

I suspect that this clause with be the impetus for closure.
A few years back the bathroom at Sotol Vista met this criteria...

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Offline presidio

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2018, 04:22:26 PM »
Here is the NPS contingency plan for a funding related shutdown .

https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/2018_01_nps_contingency_plan.pdf

It appears the NPS learned something from their 2013 debacle.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline presidio

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2018, 04:35:20 PM »
"If visitor access becomes a safety, health or resource protection issue (weather, road
conditions, resource damage, garbage build-up to the extent that it endangers human
health or wildlife, etc.), the area must be closed."

I suspect that this clause with be the impetus for closure.

Unlike the caveat about the stock market, with the NPS past performance is a very reliable indicator of future performance. However, the January 2018 shutdown did not affect land access, camping or hiking. Facilities were closed but not the outdoors.

Closures under the above quote would take a number of days to reach levels prompting closure, if they did at all. There would be no justification for closing something under the premise it 'might'  eventually be necessary.

The needy tourist types mostly will stay home in the absence of hand-holding services. Those able to function without the NPS hovering about will find far fewer people in the parks and thus less pressure on facilities. After all, how is camping at RGV with locked restrooms and shut off water any different from backcountry roadside camping? It isn't but the needy won't be able to function without flush toilets so they won't be seen braving the newly 'wild,' scary, and inconvenient conditions.

As I've said before, if you can function without the NPS, it may be the best trip ever to Big Bend.
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<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline CC

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2018, 04:45:28 PM »
As I've said before, if you can function without the NPS, it may be the best trip ever to Big Bend.

Precisely.  Drive to your favorite roadside campsite, and if it's unocupied, it's yours!  Arrive to the park after business hours and want to camp on the South Rim that night? No problem! 

-CC

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Offline presidio

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2018, 05:24:10 PM »
Precisely.  Drive to your favorite roadside campsite, and if it's unocupied, it's yours!  Arrive to the park after business hours and want to camp on the South Rim that night? No problem! 

And that is what gives the NPS the willies. If the public learns the NPS does not add anything to the experience but, instead, detracts from that experience, public opinion as to their value is at risk of change.
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<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline EmilyP

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2018, 03:07:41 PM »
Thanks everyone, your thoughts are helpful.  It seems like the stores and lodge are not run by nps.  So it seems they would likely stay open based on what I could find.  However, I called the park today and their answer was, “we have not been given any information about any plans for a shutdown.  If we know anything we will post it in the alerts section of the website.”  She sounded quite annoyed.  I was probably not the first to ask that question today.  So, if anyone else finds this thread, know that calling the park is futile and the best way to get information is to keep an eyes on the website.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2018, 04:03:32 PM »
Thanks everyone, your thoughts are helpful.  It seems like the stores and lodge are not run by nps.  So it seems they would likely stay open based on what I could find.  However, I called the park today and their answer was, “we have not been given any information about any plans for a shutdown.  If we know anything we will post it in the alerts section of the website.”  She sounded quite annoyed.  I was probably not the first to ask that question today.  So, if anyone else finds this thread, know that calling the park is futile and the best way to get information is to keep an eyes on the website.
It usually takes them a while to get the NPS websites updated. Look for updates to appear on the Big Bend N.P. Facebook page first, as it's much easier for them to update.

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Offline bacon_on_top

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2018, 09:53:06 PM »
So, in the event of a shut down, it's likely that no one will be issuing permits.  Are there any legal issues if people set out to do any camping in the backcountry zones or chisos sites?

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Offline presidio

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2018, 10:09:39 PM »
So, in the event of a shut down, it's likely that no one will be issuing permits.  Are there any legal issues if people set out to do any camping in the backcountry zones or chisos sites?

Unknown (in the real world, where some common sense would apply, you likely would not have an issue...but this is the NPS you're dealing with).

Only way to find out is to do it.

I would suggest that if staying in a developed site, pay the usual fee. If in a backcountry site, you would be unable to obtain a permit or pay the fee (that shouldn't exist); however, if you read the regulations you are prohibited from backcountry camping without a permit in advance.

While you cannot get a permit and would clearly most likely be okay if you moved in and out before the shutdown expired, being in a site when the shutdown ends might prove interesting.

In your defense, since the park is not collecting entry fees (which also are 'required') while shutdown, the most they could do to folks driving around would be to require them to get an entry sticker on the day things reopened. Logic says that's when backcountry permits also would again be enforceable.

Lots of gray area. Be bold and be a test case. You might establish some case law.

Also likely, it would be at least a day or so after things reopen before the NPS got around to the non-paved places. All the tourist areas would have to be brought under control first. The backcountry camps along dirt roads would be first, hike-in sites would be longer still to check.
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline Ranger Tim

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2018, 10:43:28 AM »
The last major shutdown resulted in the biggest SAR event BBRSP has ever seen. If you do come to BBRSP make good decisions and stay safe.

http://bigbend.arkansasonline.com/

Sent from my SM-G930V using Big Bend Chat mobile app

"The greatest happiness possible to man ... is to become civilized, to know the pageant of the past, to love the beautiful,... and then, retaining animal instincts and appetites, to live in the wilderness"
- J. Frank Dobie

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Offline presidio

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2018, 02:55:41 PM »
The last major shutdown resulted in the biggest SAR event BBRSP has ever seen. If you do come to BBRSP make good decisions and stay safe.

http://bigbend.arkansasonline.com/

Yes, but that event was precipitated by the NPS forcing their typical inept clientele out of the safety and comfort zone of hand-holding services. Between the NPS and folks completely out of their element (and not understanding their self-image of 'experienced' desert users...was anything but), they nearly died.

They were damned lucky.

They do get a gold star for telling their story, but the lesson likely was/is lost on those most in need of the cautionary tale.

However, reading their story does not instill confidence that even they actually learned the lesson.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 03:00:42 PM by presidio »
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline wigfall

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2018, 06:37:23 PM »
The last major shutdown resulted in the biggest SAR event BBRSP has ever seen. If you do come to BBRSP make good decisions and stay safe.

http://bigbend.arkansasonline.com/

Yes, but that event was precipitated by the NPS forcing their typical inept clientele out of the safety and comfort zone of hand-holding services. Between the NPS and folks completely out of their element (and not understanding their self-image of 'experienced' desert users...was anything but), they nearly died.

They were damned lucky.

They do get a gold star for telling their story, but the lesson likely was/is lost on those most in need of the cautionary tale.

However, reading their story does not instill confidence that even they actually learned the lesson.

Peshaw, this is an extreme reach even for you,

 


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