Potential government shutdown to impact Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Posted at 4:23 PM, Dec 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-21 16:23:11-05

A looming government shutdown could make its presence felt in Northeast Ohio, including at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A National Park Service spokesperson said park services that require maintenance and staffing will close in the event of a government shutdown.

The potential shutdown comes as Republicans, Democrats and President Donald Trump remain at odds on a spending bill, which would fund government agencies and programs, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior.

The parks service falls under the Department of the Interior.

“In the event of a government shutdown national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures. For example, this means that roads that have already been open will remain open (think snow removal) and vault toilets (wilderness type restrooms) will remain open,” said National Parks Service spokesperson Jeremy Barnum. “However services that require staffing and maintenance such as campgrounds and full service restrooms, will not be operating.”

Despite it being a unassumingly cold and dreary day Friday, dozens of people were at and around the visitors centers at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Backwater family has been to more than 20 national parks but CVNP will always be one of their favorites.

“The national parks are America’s best idea. It’s really a shame it would be closed even for a short period,” said Wesley Buckwalter.

This potential government shutdown could be prolonged as lawmakers and President Trump remain locked in a back-and-forth over funding for the president’s southern border wall. As of Friday afternoon, it appears that the negotiations have failed to make headway.

“I think it’s really disappointing. I think [the national parks] are a national treasure,” said Carolyn Buckwalter. “Even a short time where we can’t visit and enjoy these is a sad thing for all of us. It’s kind of sad especially this close to the holidays that we might lose out on this wonderful resource that we have available.”