Many National Parks Shut Gates to Visitors Amid Government Shutdown, But Some Remain Open

If you’re thinking about enjoying a weekend outdoors, you might want to check to see if the place you’re headed is even open.

Park rangers meet in front of Yosemite Falls before President Barack Obama's speech in Yosemite National Park on June 18, 2016. (Credit: David Calvert / Getty Images)

Park rangers meet in front of Yosemite Falls before President Barack Obama’s speech in Yosemite National Park on June 18, 2016. (Credit: David Calvert / Getty Images)

On Saturday, hours after the start of the partial government shutdown, dozens of national parks nationwide closed their gates and turned visitors away. Others have partial services with limited staff as part of a plan worked out in recent days by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The National Parks Conservation Assn., a nonpartisan group that works to strengthen and protect federal parks, estimated that about a third of the more than 400 national park sites across the country are completely closed.

In addition, the group projects about 21,000 park service employees are being furloughed with the shutdown, leaving about 3,200 “essential staff” to manage 80 million acres of national park lands.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.