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

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Offline EmilyP

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How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« on: December 14, 2018, 12:05:05 PM »
I've been planning a Christmas trip to Big Bend for months.  I have my campground reservations all set, getting the gear together for this bucket list trip.  And now what's all this about a government shutdown?  I'm not trying to start a political debate about the merits of a shutdown or the reasons behind it.  Please don't go there.  I know that it may or may not happen, but can any of you help me thing through the what if's?  I'm planning to leave on the 22nd (and get to the park on the 23rd), the current deadline for coming to some sort of agreement seems to be the 21st.  The only things I can find online seem to indicate that the parks won't be closed, but I'm afraid that the bathrooms will be padlocked and that our reservation, the one I made in JUNE won't be enforced and someone will take my site.  Speaking of enforcement, is there reason to think the campgrounds would be less safe due to fewer rangers???  If the park is open I'd still like to come, but what extra things might I need to plan for?  Anyone know anything???? Anyone else having similar thoughts????  It's a 20 hour drive for me each way so it's not like I can just turn around and come back later.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2018, 12:31:22 PM »
Depends on.  Back when the government "shut down", the liberal progressives were in charge.  They went out of their way to make the public feel their anger by shutting down stupid stuff, and make the Republicans look bad.   The best example of this that I remember was the pull out area that a tourist would use to view Mt. Rushmore. 
http://michellemalkin.com/2013/10/06/scenery-shutdown-of-the-day-roadside-access-to-mt-rushmore-coned-off/

Different people in charge now.  The NPS knows that all employees are guaranteed their back pay when the government "shuts down".  They actually just get a paid vacation.  If that translates into the campground being left open is, unfortunately, unknown.  Last time, many people just went into the park, and did what they wanted on our public land.  I would advise you to bring your backpacking stuff, and just plan on spending time out in the back country if the campgrounds are shut down.  That's what I'm going to do.   :great:
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 12:37:06 PM by elhombre »
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Offline marufo

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2018, 12:35:03 PM »
If the Interior Dept is not funded, the park will be closed and you will not be able to get in. Yeah, that sucks. Can't go any further without getting political, but don't worry - others on this board will.

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Offline badknees

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2018, 03:27:39 PM »
During the government shutdown in 2013, the previous administration closed park entrances and put up barriers around national monuments.
Not all those who wander are lost.
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Offline Al

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2018, 04:15:21 PM »
Yup, the park will be closed.

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Offline congahead

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 05:02:01 PM »
If BIBE is shut down and you cant get in, consider Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Even more rugged and remote.
"The animals here will generally try to avoid you, but the plants will hurt you every chance they get."

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Offline wigfall

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2018, 07:25:58 AM »
big Bend an other parks stayed open in the schumer shut down of '18
Gates open, buildings closed

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Offline badknees

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2018, 09:36:53 AM »
Give them a call?
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

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Offline presidio

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2018, 08:07:55 PM »
Yup, the park will be closed.

I don't know that will be the case. In the infamous attempted closure of pull-outs on state highways at Mt Rushmore and sidewalks in front of DC monuments, the NPS took a more than well-deserved beating in negative publicity (especially when WWII vets took down the closure of the WWII Memorial in DC and the NPS stood by, absurd and feckless, looking even more petty and ridiculous than usual.

The more recent closure left sites open but without services. Those able to function without NPS handholding had a great time. The NPS had the willies and debilitating anxiety that the public was able to use their (which "their" is left to your perception) public land unsupervised. I am not aware that any great (or even minor) calamities befell either the tourists or the resource (though, undoubtedly, the sycophants fawning over NPS control will disagree and produce examples).

The biggest issue is whether you will be allowed in the park; if so, you will be on your own (as you are on ALL other federal public land at all times). Enjoy.
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Offline Al

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2018, 08:36:01 PM »
Yup, the park will be closed.

I don't know that will be the case. In the infamous attempted closure of pull-outs on state highways at Mt Rushmore and sidewalks in front of DC monuments, the NPS took a more than well-deserved beating in negative publicity (especially when WWII vets took down the closure of the WWII Memorial in DC and the NPS stood by, absurd and feckless, looking even more petty and ridiculous than usual.

The more recent closure left sites open but without services. Those able to function without NPS handholding had a great time. The NPS had the willies and debilitating anxiety that the public was able to use their (which "their" is left to your perception) public land unsupervised. I am not aware that any great (or even minor) calamities befell either the tourists or the resource (though, undoubtedly, the sycophants fawning over NPS control will disagree and produce examples).

The biggest issue is whether you will be allowed in the park; if so, you will be on your own (as you are on ALL other federal public land at all times). Enjoy.

It has been every time I can remember.  We wanted to back into the Sierra del Carmen's in December 1995 and we couldn't get in the park to cross into Mexico.  Ended up going to what's now called Lonesome Ridge Wilderness Study Area and boy oh boy is it lonesome!  I would have run out of gas if I hadn't had two gas tanks in the truck.

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Offline presidio

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2018, 11:03:09 PM »
It has been every time I can remember.

Well, the solution is to go to BBRSP or drive a bit farther and use the BLM/USFS lands in NM. Those agencies simply do not attempt to close access (there is no practical way to do so), nor do they care that you are out there on your own.

The agency that does not trust the public is spelled NPS.
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
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Offline marufo

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2018, 09:56:54 AM »
EmilyP, it looks like the good news is that the park probably wont be closed, per the Washington Post:
Quote
The Statue of Liberty, for example, closed to thousands of visitors during a brief government funding lapse in January. National parks across the country stayed open, though without visitor centers and fees and with only minimal emergency staff.
National Park Service officials confirmed Friday that parks would stay open this time but they declined to say whether the Statue of Liberty would again close.
There will probably not be any staff to make sure nobody takes your reserved campsite, but I doubt that will be an issue since the prospect and uncertainty of a shutdown will prompt a lot of folks to change their plans. Whether or not the restrooms will be locked, I have no idea but there wont be anybody cleaning or resupplying TP etc. And although when it very rarely happens it gets a lot of attention, the chance of danger from other campers is so miniscule that its not worth worrying about.

Besides perhaps looking into human waste disposal alternatives, I would suggest that the best thing you can do to prepare for a possible shutdown is to learn as much as you can about the park before you get here, because the visitor centers will not be open to provide advice and suggestions.

Lastly, I would like to apologize for the few on this board whose authority issues and political self-righteousness apparently make them incapable of respecting your polite request to keep politics out of the discussion. In fact, although it may be understandably hard for you to believe at this point, most of the folks here are glad to help first-time visitors with advice and suggestions.

Hope you enjoy your trip!

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Offline presidio

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2018, 10:50:41 AM »
There will probably not be any staff to make sure nobody takes your reserved campsite, but I doubt that will be an issue since the prospect and uncertainty of a shutdown will prompt a lot of folks to change their plans.

You may find virtually no one in the parks, as the majority clientele typical of NPS areas likely will be terrified at the prospect of not having someone to look after them.

Quote
Hope you enjoy your trip!

Quite likely, you will have one of the best experiences possible in an NPS area.
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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 mule ears

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2018, 02:41:19 PM »
EmilyP, it looks like the good news is that the park probably wont be closed, per the Washington Post:
Quote
The Statue of Liberty, for example, closed to thousands of visitors during a brief government funding lapse in January. National parks across the country stayed open, though without visitor centers and fees and with only minimal emergency staff.
National Park Service officials confirmed Friday that parks would stay open this time but they declined to say whether the Statue of Liberty would again close.
There will probably not be any staff to make sure nobody takes your reserved campsite, but I doubt that will be an issue since the prospect and uncertainty of a shutdown will prompt a lot of folks to change their plans. Whether or not the restrooms will be locked, I have no idea but there wont be anybody cleaning or resupplying TP etc. And although when it very rarely happens it gets a lot of attention, the chance of danger from other campers is so miniscule that its not worth worrying about.

Besides perhaps looking into human waste disposal alternatives, I would suggest that the best thing you can do to prepare for a possible shutdown is to learn as much as you can about the park before you get here, because the visitor centers will not be open to provide advice and suggestions.

Lastly, I would like to apologize for the few on this board whose authority issues and political self-righteousness apparently make them incapable of respecting your polite request to keep politics out of the discussion. In fact, although it may be understandably hard for you to believe at this point, most of the folks here are glad to help first-time visitors with advice and suggestions.

Hope you enjoy your trip!

marufo beat me to it.  +1 to all of the above.
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Offline RichardM

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Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2018, 09:30:16 AM »
I wonder if the campground host will hang around if the shutdown happens.  :eusa_think:

Bring your own toilet paper and hope the bathrooms aren't locked. ;)

 


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