Public lands close after lapse in federal funding |

Public lands close after lapse in federal funding

Leia Larsen

Rocky Mountain National Park and all offices managing Grand County’s federal public lands have closed after the U.S. Congress failed to pass a fiscal budget.

Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service offices closed and websites went down on Tuesday, Oct. 1 due to lack of funding.

All National Parks entrances are now closed, including Rocky Mountain National Park. Trail Ridge Road through the Park and other facilities will remain closed for the duration of the shutdown.

Education programs and special events at the Park are canceled, permits for special events are rescinded and guests staying in Park hotels and campgrounds will be given 48 hours to leave, according to Park information on the National Park Service website.

A small number of National Park Service employees remain to protect park resources.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service will continue essential local health and safety service work throughout the furlough, according to a press releases dated Oct. 1, including flood recovery efforts and hazardous tree removal.

The U.S. Forest Sulphur Ranger District has some campgrounds closed due to the season, but the public may find other areas closed.

Nearly 75 percent of Grand County’s 1,868 square miles are managed by federal public land agencies, and will be affected during the furlough.

The closures come weeks after torrential rains and flooding devastated large portions of Rocky Mountain National Park and Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest land east of the Continental Divide.

Leia Larsen can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.

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