Glacier Park Closes as Federal Government Shuts Down

By Beacon Staff

Even Glacier National Park’s website was closed this morning. At 12 a.m. Tuesday, the federal government entered a partial shutdown after the Senate and House could not come to terms on a continuing resolution.

Locally, that means Glacier Park is closed to visitors and only private landowners and contractors can enter the park. According to spokesperson Denise Germann, all but a few of the park’s employees were being furloughed. Those who stayed would secure the park. Visitors camping inside the park would be given 48 hours to relocate.

While all park entrances were closed and secured, public roads that travel through the park, including U.S. Highway 2 at Essex, would remain open.

Other agencies effected by the shutdown include the U.S. Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Forest Service and Army Corps are closing all campgrounds and some boat ramps and recreational areas. The Fish and Wildlife Service has also closed its wildlife refuges, waterfowl protection areas, ecological services field offices, fish hatcheries and other offices across the country.

The U.S. Postal Service and Amtrak remain operational.

Shutdown Effects Beginning to be Felt in Montana

HELENA (AP) — Glacier and Yellowstone national parks’ gates are closed. Montana’s national forests are open, but it may be hard to find a U.S. Forest Service ranger. Civilians with the Montana National Guard and at Malmstrom Air Force Base face furloughs.

The effects of the U.S. government shutdown Tuesday are beginning to be felt in Montana.

Essential personnel, such as law-enforcement officers, are still on the job. Federal courts are holding hearings. The Indian Health Service is still providing health care on Indian reservations.

But other services have been temporarily closed, from the Farm Service Agency’s 49 Montana offices to the U.S. Census Bureau’s population data on its website.

The state has 12,400 federal employees. It is unclear how many were told to stay home because of the shutdown.

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