Journal of the San Juan Islands


SJI National Historical Park closed in wake of government shutdown

October 1, 2013 · Updated 12:18 PM

Due to the federal government shutdown, the grounds of English Camp, pictured above, will be closed along with all other trails, beaches, and visitor facilities at San Juan Island National Historic Park. / Contributed photo

The federal government shutdown prompted the National Parks Service today to close 401 of its national parks, including San Juan Island National Historical Park.

All visitor facilities, including visitor centers, picnic areas, breaches, park roads and trails will remain closed until the government reopens, according to San Juan Island National Historical Park Superintendent Lee Taylor.

In a press release, Taylor noted two employees will remain on duty to provide security and emergency services, while another eight park employees  will be furloughed because of the shutdown. The park will remain closed until the government reopens, she said.

In the meantime, Pickett's Lane, the access road to South Beach, is closed at Cattle Point Road. Access road to American Camp and English are also closed. The park is closed to visitors, hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders while the park remains closed.

In addition, Taylor said the all park programs and special events have been canceled, including the Junior Ranger programs at the library, Earthcorps volunteer work at American Camp, installation of a trail puncheon by San Juan Island Trails Committee, and more. The Nation Park Service website, with  91 million unique visitors a year, will also be down for the duration of the government shutdown.

According to the National Parks Service, the agency stands to lose roughly $450,000 a day in lost revenue from park entrance fees and activity fees, such as cave tours, boat rides and camping. More than 715,000 people visit a national park each day, and so-called "gateway" communities generate about $75 million in total sales from visitor spending per day.

For updates on the shutdown, visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.



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