Temporary Closure of National Parks
… and Wyoming Tourism
Temporary closure of the national parks and monuments in our region – including Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Devils Tower, Battle of the Little Bighorn, and Mount Rushmore – clearly has an impact on many of those who travel through Sheridan as well. But we are encouraging visitors to enjoy the many attractions in Sheridan in hopes to keep those visitors here a little longer!
We’ve also already received questions as to whether travelers can still drive over the Bighorn Mountains (Bighorn National Forest). Yes! … and the fall colors are starting to appear, along with the snow.
With regard to Yellowstone National Park, here’s the memo issued by our Wyoming Office of Tourism this morning ~
You may, or may not, have heard of two financial deadlines facing our federal government: 1) the fiscal year ended on September 30, and Congress has not yet agreed on a way to keep funding it, and 2) a solution needs to be addressed on how to increase the federal debt ceiling before it is reached in mid-October.
Congress failed to reach an agreement on funding last night and therefore the U.S. Government is in a temporary shutdown until a compromise can be reached. As visitors are inquiring if our parks are “closed,” please see below for the latest information.
As you field inquiries from visitors, please emphasize that gateway communities are operating with business as usual and offer many activities for fall visitors, such as photography, wildlife watching, fishing, scenic drives, etc.
As of today, here is what to expect [in our national parks]:
* National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, BLM public lands including campgrounds, visitor centers, and concession services associated with those areas will close.
* Accommodations and many activities in Grand Teton National Park have closed for the season.
However, Yellowstone has offered the following provisions:
* Except for hotels, lodges, and campgrounds, all concession-operated visitor services and facilities would close.
* Overnight accommodations and campgrounds would stay open until guests currently checked in check out.
* All guests would have to check out and leave the park within 48 hours.
* No new guests could check in.
* The Superintendent could permit concessioners and their contractors to continue repair, maintenance, and construction projects.
* Employees could stay in the park but could not bike, hike, or otherwise recreate outside assigned areas.
* Concessioner and CUA clients on overnight back county trips could finish their trips unless there were a practical and safe way to end them
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