Government Shutdown-- Effects on Death Valley

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Mary Kessler
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Government Shutdown-- Effects on Death Valley

Post by Mary Kessler » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:13 am

My sister let me know what will happen to Death Valley if there is a government shutdown. Sad, sad, sad.

Death Valley park shutdown

-- all park roads that can be gated closed will be Closed, all other dirt roads will be signed as closed.

-- only Hwy 190 remains open but no access to Zabriskie Point, Dante's View, the sand dunes, etc. All NPS rest rooms and the visitor center will be closed. Visitors will not be allowed to hike off of hwy 190.

-- The campgrounds will be closed and all hikers and backcountry users will be told the park is CLOSED and that they must leave.

-- Stovepipe Wells resort will be forced to close after guests are given 48 hours notice.

-- all park employees exept for a few law enforcement will be laid off (put on furlough). employees will not be allowed to work or even volunteer, volunteers will not be allowed to work, workers will not be allowed to access their computes, employees must remain available to work, but may not get paid for "hanging around" waiting to be called to work.

-- the park website will be closed down

-- the park's weather might not be colleted for the first time in 100 years.

Moly Man
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Post by Moly Man » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:35 am

Sounds like a ghost story to me!

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Kauri
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Post by Kauri » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:50 pm

I'm going to be leaving for DV tomorrow; what should I do/plan for?
Thanks!
-Kauri

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jacknv7
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Post by jacknv7 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:38 pm

If anyone legally parks anywhere along Hwy. 190, or any other state or county road in the park, and decides to go for a hike there is no violation of any law I am aware of. And in all reality, there isn't going to be anyone out there to tell you that you can't.

Below is information from the Furnace Creek Resort web site.

"Furnace Creek Resort to Remain Open

Furnace Creek Resort is private property surrounded by Death Valley National Park. This in-holding status goes back many years and long before the land was designated a national monument and later a national park. The famed Fred Harvey Company owned and operated Furnace Creek Resort, and both became a part of Amfac (now Xanterra) Parks & Resorts in 1968.

Unlike most national park operations, Furnace Creek Resort will not close because the park closes. Remaining open will be the resort's lodging, restaurants, pools, golf course, tennis courts, stables and retail operations.

The main road traversing Death Valley is a California state highway and we do not anticipate that it will be closed down by the National Park Service (NPS)."

I just called Stovepipe Wells as I have reservations there next week. They plan to stay open until at least next Tuesday and then remain open until they are forced to close.

Furnace Creek is on private property where Stovepipe wells operates under a concessionaire agreement.

http://www.furnacecreekresort.com/natio ... -8398.html

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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:15 pm

Kauri wrote:I'm going to be leaving for DV tomorrow; what should I do/plan for?
Thanks!
-Kauri
If you were planning on staying at SPW or a official campground you will probably need to make other plans. Consider the west side of Panamint Valley with hikes in the canyons of the Argus range. While 190 will certainly be open, they could put up signs on other roads and then depends on whether you are comfortable driving around them or not. There is very little law enforcement present off the paved roads in any case so would there be rangers out chasing away the bad trespassers because the park is closed? Don't know, but it seems doubtful. My main concern would be to have plans for a place to sleep. Could be interesting though :)

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robbiemize
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Post by robbiemize » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:39 pm

i have a trip to DV next week and i seriously cant believe this might actually be happening. all along i thought for sure they would never actually shut down the national parks. pathetic. our govt is pathetic
attitude is a decision

David_Bricker
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Post by David_Bricker » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:26 pm

Sounds like a compromise? has been reached, and there will be no shutdown at this point.

All of us heading to DV within the next week or so (myself included) can breathe easier now, I guess.

David Bricker / SYR

D.A. Wright
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Post by D.A. Wright » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:56 pm

Temporary victory, just a stall until Thursday.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

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robbiemize
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Post by robbiemize » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:32 pm

D.A. Wright wrote:Temporary victory, just a stall until Thursday.
is that thursday the 14?
attitude is a decision

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alluvialfan
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Post by alluvialfan » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:55 am

Even if there is not a Govt. Shutdown, and hence no shutdown of Natl. Parks, potential shutdown and closure impact is still a good question. Perhaps people visiting Death Valley, over the next week or so, could ask the Rangers at the Visitor Center a few quick questions and then post results here. It would be interesting to see the answers, whether they vary from ranger to ranger, etc.

I would think the NPS would not want anybody hiking in the park, period. And no vehicles anywhere in the park, except those just driving though, or those driving to the any open area (like Furnace Creek Ranch or Furnace Creek Inn). And leaving a car parked just off the open State roads would not be allowed either. They probably can't do anything to somebody that is dropped off somewhere and is hiking; but I still believe that technically they wouldn't want folks doing that either.

I don't wish to debate this issue. I just would like to hear or read something from the NPS about it. That's my No.1 question - What does the NPS (like a Ranger at the Visitor's Center) say about hiking in Death Valley during a possible shutdown?

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jacknv7
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Post by jacknv7 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:33 pm

I am going in to Death Valley on April 14. I will be at Stovepipe Wells that night and then moving down to Furnace Creek through April 18 for an event there.

I will ask around and see what the various sources report as far as their response to a potential closure. I think it is just as confusing to the Park Service as it is to the public. It's not like they plan for things like this, and in all reality, they probably want to have no part of it. Who wants to be the punching bag for Congress not doing their job.

And when you factor in other parks like Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave Nation Preserve, that is a lot of square miles to try to enforce anything on. They don't have adequate staffing now. So if a shut down was declared, where would they get the staff to do all the enforcement if no one is allowed to work?

Well, if a shut down does occur on April 14, I will be there to get plenty of photos of a desert park pretty much void of visitors in the outback areas. Wait! I think I already have thousands of photos like that now! :shock:

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alluvialfan
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Post by alluvialfan » Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:56 pm

Thanks Jack; all real good points.
Upon reflection, I think the last thing the Rangers want is a bunch of shutdown questions.

I was just thinking about my typical trip, flying over from East Coast, renting a car, driving to DV, staying in campground or backcountry, parking off road-side for hiking - it seems like this kind of trip would be ruined by a shutdown. I could rent a better vehicle and drive down open unpaved roads, for my hikes, and stay out of site.

Gosh, I sure hope this is all behind us.

I hope you have a real good trip to Death Valley!!

Moly Man
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Post by Moly Man » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:33 pm

Rumor has it that beginning April 14, the Keane Wonder mine and mill might once again be open to park visitors.

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robbiemize
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Post by robbiemize » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:54 pm

Moly Man wrote:Rumor has it that beginning April 14, the Keane Wonder mine and mill might once again be open to park visitors.
no way i thought this was going to be closed for another year or two. perhaps whatever i read that from was a year or two old...

this would be awesome.
attitude is a decision

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Candace_66
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Post by Candace_66 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:35 am

jacknv7 wrote:Well, if a shut down does occur on April 14, I will be there to get plenty of photos of a desert park pretty much void of visitors in the outback areas. Wait! I think I already have thousands of photos like that now! :shock:
:lol:


I enjoyed the suggestion that in event of a shutdown, roads without gates would be signed as closed. A few of them are signed as closed much of the time! :lol:

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