Anarchy at Yellowstone: ‘Road Closed’ sign knocked over, thrown aside

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

Yellowstone National Park has been made off limits due to the federal government shutdown. However, that hasn’t stopped some people from actively protesting the closing of one of the country’s most famous parks.

A photo taken by Bill Berg shows a knocked over “road closed” sign in front of one of the arches that goes into Yellowstone National Park.

“I didn’t see the barricades actually blocking the Arch today and I don’t know if the Road Closed sign in the lower right fell over or was ‘placed’ there. It’s an ironic symbol laying there,” Berg writes in the caption below the photo.

Across the country thousands of Americans have been turned away from national parks that are being closed because Democrats and Republicans failed to come to an agreement over continuing to fund the government.

“Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating,” according to the National Park Service webpage which now redirects visitors to the Interior Department’s homepage.

Communities that depend on park tourism for their livelihood are also being hit hard.

“Park budgets have seen drastic cuts over the last three years. And shutting the park gates is really bad for American tourism and family vacations and all the businesses that depend on our parks staying open to spur the local economies,” said Theresa Pierno, acting president of the National Parks Conservation Association.

According NCPA, such communities could lose $30 million a day during the closures.

The Yellowstone River Motel in Gardiner, Montana had been “dead full” with national park visitors — that is, until the park was closed. The hotel’s owner, Betty DeWeese, said that after the park’s closure they had 11 cancellations and early departures from their 38-room hotel.

“I have a huge geology group here and they can’t go in and do their tour in the park,” DeWeese said. “It’s just demoralizing.”

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*Editor’s Note: This article initially said that Tuesday was the 123rd anniversary of Yellowstone National Park, when in fact, Tuesday was the 123rd anniversary of Yosemite National Park.


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