Government Shutdown Forces Closure of North Cascades National Park Service Complex
As a result of the federal government shutdown, the National Park Service was forced to suspend all Cooperative Association Agreements on Thursday, October 3, including the long-standing agreement that guides the close relationship between North Cascades National Park and North Cascades Institute. As a result, we are unable to conduct scheduled programs at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center until further notice.
We are in touch with the groups that this impacts and deeply regret having to cancel programs. All programs happening outside of federal lands will continue as scheduled.
We are in close contact with our friends at both the National Park Service and US Forest Service and we are hoping for a speedy resolution.
Please feel free to contact us with your questions at (360) 854-2599. Thank you for your continued support.
Here is a press release from our friends at North Cascades National Park Complex:
Sedro Woolley, WA – October 3, 2013 –With beautiful weather forecast and new snow on the mountains, many people in the Pacific Northwest may head for the great outdoors this weekend. This is a reminder that the National Park Service (NPS) has closed all 401 national parks, including North Cascades National Park Service Complex because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations. The Complex includes North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.
The North Cascades Visitor Center in Newhalem and the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount are closed as well as the NPS headquarters office in Sedro Woolley. In Ross Lake National Recreation Area, the Ross Lake Resort and associated water taxi service has shut down; Hozomeen campground and the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center are also closed. In Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, visitor facilities including the Golden West Visitor Center and the lodge, restaurant and store at Stehekin are closed.
All campgrounds, trails and roads – except for State Highway 20, a thru way – are closed. Signs indicating closure have been posted on all facilities and at trailheads. The park will remain closed until the government reopens. Park rangers will be on patrol to ensure public safety and protect facilities and the Park’s natural and cultural resources.
All park programs and special events have been canceled. The Buckner Orchard Harvest Fest in Stehekin scheduled for Friday and Saturday has been relocated to the community school.
Nationally, more than 715,000 visitors a day frequent the National Park System. Nationwide the NPS stands to lose approximately $450,000 per day in lost revenue from fees collected at entry stations and fees paid for in-park activities such as cave tours, boat rides and camping. Gateway communities across the country see about $76 million per day in total sales from visitor spending that is lost during a government shutdown. Visitors spend about $26 million a year in the communities around North Cascades National Park Service Complex.
In North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 120 employees are on furlough because of the shutdown and approximately 40 concessions employees are similarly affected. A limited number of NPS employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services. Over 100 visitors per night will not be able to utilize concessions lodges and restaurants during the shutdown.
Nationwide the shutdown has also furloughed more than 20,000 National Park Service employees; approximately 3,000 employees remain on duty to ensure essential health, safety, and security functions at parks and facilities. About 12,000 park concessions employees are also affected.
Because it will not be maintained, the National Park Service website will be down for the duration of the shutdown. NPS.gov has more than 750,000 pages and 91 million unique visitors each year.
For updates on the shutdown, please visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.