Big Bend Chat

Big Bend in the News => National Park News => Topic started by: MyLifeOutdoors on March 02, 2011, 04:17:43 PM

Title: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: MyLifeOutdoors on March 02, 2011, 04:17:43 PM
Quote
Big Bend National Park - Federal lawmakers are working right now to finalize the 2011 budget, but with a short timeline and billions at stake there is a risk of that not happening in time, which would cause a government shutdown.

U.S. Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX-11) said today they will likely be able to extend their timeline by two weeks, but there is a serious threat the House and Senate will not come to an agreement about the budget in time.

In which case he said non-essential services would be shutdown first, including all national parks.

"This is what happens when the government is too big and has to start cutting spending. You've got folks whose lives get disrupted," Congressman Conaway said.

Like the employees who rely on business brought in by Big Bend National Park.

"I'm concerned for our businesses and the people whose livelihood depends on tourism," said Brewster County Director of Tourism, Mike Davidson.

Tour guides, cooks, waiters and lodging employees all would be without jobs if the Park were forced to close because the government shuts down.

"I mean if we shut down we've got no money coming in," said Danny Ferguson, General Manager at Chisos Mountain Lodge in Big Bend.

The lodge would be forced to close if the park closes.

"They'll close the gates and not let anyone in until funding is restored to pay the folks who are put there to protect the national parks from vandalism and also protect the people who are camping there."

And the timing couldn't be worse; March alone makes up for almost 60% of Brewster County’s tourism business.

"This is our busy time March, April, May, so it would definitely be a hurt to our business," Ferguson said.

For anyone making spring break plans in Big Bend right now the community is preparing for spring break as usual.

Brewster County Tourism Director Mike Davidson does remind everyone the Big Bend State Park will remain open in March regardless.

From West Texas CBS 7 (http://www.cbs7kosa.com/news/details.asp?ID=24108)

http://www.cbs7kosa.com/news/details.asp?ID=24108 (http://www.cbs7kosa.com/news/details.asp?ID=24108)
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: TexasAggieHiker on March 02, 2011, 04:56:35 PM
Not for next two weeks at least.  If there is a shut down, it would only last a couple weeks at most.
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: Alpine Montessori School on March 02, 2011, 05:06:19 PM
Two weeks is a long time when you have a shortened earning season!
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: steelfrog on March 02, 2011, 05:07:27 PM
Hmm.  2 weeks  = March 16-30?  We're coming the 19-21.   :icon_frown:
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: TexasAggieHiker on March 02, 2011, 05:34:34 PM
It would be devastating to the region if it were to close at that time.  Let's hope the morons we send to DC can get their "stuff" together.
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: The Scorpion on March 02, 2011, 06:19:08 PM
its just sad to hear this, the Government can save money elsewhere it they knew how to manage it properly.

Stop spending on Foreign Aid, that would save billions. We need to fix OUR country first.... not all the other places around the world.

cut federal and state spending on prison systems. they dont need cable TV, access to computers or any other luxury items that were invented before 1900.

drop homeland security, bring all of our military folks back to the US and defend our land here.

end funding to researchers trying to figure out why animals attack humans... I can answer that... we look like food to them... and they are hungry

cut out the free meals the senators and congressmen get, and also put them on the same health care plan the rest of the Government employees are on.

just to name a few.... that should save us tax payers at least 500 billion

James
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: chisos_muse on March 02, 2011, 06:30:06 PM
Enough doom and gloom, folks.....

1) I'd REALLY HATE to see this thread turn into a political flame

2) If it happens, it happens. Yes, it would suck, but all of the best hikers have a plan B & C anyway.... :icon_cool:

3) Nothing is for sure yet. Save the speculation and worry for somebody's overprotective grandma!  :eusa_doh:
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: TexasAggieHiker on March 02, 2011, 06:47:07 PM
Enough doom and gloom, folks.....

1) I'd REALLY HATE to see this thread turn into a political flame

2) If it happens, it happens. Yes, it would suck, but all of the best hikers have a plan B & C anyway.... :icon_cool:

3) Nothing is for sure yet. Save the speculation and worry for somebody's overprotective grandma!  :eusa_doh:
:eusa_clap:
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: alan in shreveport on March 03, 2011, 10:14:08 AM
Just as a point of fact , they (the Feds) have shut down the park system before, including Big Bend. It was over a budget issue then also. During the Clinton administration , in November of whatever year that was.  I lost my (two year old) reservation for a stone cottage in the Basin because of that one.
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: dkerr24 on March 03, 2011, 10:39:48 AM
There is chatter about this possible shut down on the Yahoo Grand Canyon Hikers site. 

Imagine shutting down the big parks like Grand Canyon?  Back in '95 they did that, and literally closed the gates to the park.  Some rangers were left on staff to patrol the trails to make sure noone was still down in the canyon.

Darin
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: MyLifeOutdoors on March 03, 2011, 10:47:06 AM
There is chatter about this possible shut down on the Yahoo Grand Canyon Hikers site. 

Imagine shutting down the big parks like Grand Canyon?  Back in '95 they did that, and literally closed the gates to the park.  Some rangers were left on staff to patrol the trails to make sure noone was still down in the canyon.

Darin

A comment on my blog (http://www.mylifeoutdoors.com/2011/03/could-national-park-system-be-shut-down.html) regarding the Grand Canyon closure.

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If you remember the last two closures of national park units in the 1990's, it was devastating to communities that count on those tourism dollars. Grand Canyon was shut for 21 days. At one point the Arizona governor sponsored opening it because the closure ruined the local economies. Of course the park rangers loved it because they got paid vacations out of it but the locals were hurt badly.
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: TedMT on March 03, 2011, 04:13:22 PM
Yes, bring our troops home, and cut military spending by 50%. We could still retain a strong and ready defense, and begin to pay off the national debt. When the debt is a thing of the past, we could give everyone a big (and permanent) tax cut. Meanwhile, we could completely fund essential services such as our national parks  :)
Title: Re: Is Big Bend Going to get Shut Down?
Post by: Undertaker on March 03, 2011, 06:54:06 PM
Tough times, you cannot have it both ways, cost of driving to park will be out of bounds for most folks anyway.