Friday, April 8, 2011
Update.--Apparently there won't be a shudown, yet anyway. So the NP should be open as usual this weekend. The two future fights in Congress will be raising the debt ceiling and the 2012 budget, but the first doesn't effect the government operation and the second will only if they can't get one by October 1, 2011, the start of the 2012 fiscal year. As Rusty Wallace said, "Stay tuned hotrod, we're just getting started."
Sad as it may be, if the government shuts down tonight at midnight, Mt. Rainier NP will be closed. The Nisqually entrance in the southwest entrance will be closed at the Nisqually entrance gate and the Carbon River entrance in the nothwest will be closed at the NP boundary. The other entrances are already closed for the winter, but those entrances will be closed to all winter travellers, either cross-country skiers, snowshoers or snowmobilers.
Nothing will be open and only a basic staff will be there as "essential" employees to keep the basic services working, such as facilities, roads and other activities. You won't be allowed to park outside the NP and walk inside. It will be officially and totally closed to all visitors. If caught, you'll be escorted out (ticket optional).
That's what a government shutdown does, shutdown all "non-essential" services and laying off all "non-essential" employees. I was a USGS employee during the 1995 shutdown, except I worked as a critical, essential employee without pay for the entire 4 weeks (one week then another three weeks).
If it happens, I personally expect this one to last awhile until Mr. Boehner gets his head out of his ass and become a human being to agree with the Democrats and the President to the budget proposal. I won't touch that issue here, only he's the holdup and holdout causing this shutdown, if it happens.
We'll see. I hoping but I'm not holding my breath. As the old adage goes, been there, done that.