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Shutdown would affect Alaska national parks

Posted: September 30, 2013 - 9:44pm

ANCHORAGE — If the federal government shuts down, among services to be affected will be national parks. Here’s how parks in Alaska would be impacted, according to spokesman John Quinley:

PARKS CLOSED: Buildings will shut down, including the regional office in Anchorage, visitors centers across the state, and public land information centers in Anchorage and Fairbanks. What won’t change will be backcountry access, subsistence hunting, sport hunting in national preserves and people crossing public lands to reach their property.

ACCESS DENIED: There’s one road into Denali National Park and Preserve. If the government shuts down, the road will be gated off a half-mile into the park.

STAFFING: A shutdown would affect 757 National Park Services employees in Alaska. All will report to work Tuesday, and if there is a shutdown, they will have four hours to put out-of-office messages on their phones and email and secure files. There will be 64 employees that will stick around longer to make sure all of that was done properly. If the closure continues into Wednesday and there appears to be no resolution in sight, the number of employees comprising a skeletal staff will shrink to about 40.

ONLINE OFFLINE: All National Park Service websites will be taken offline, and people trying to visit the websites will be directed to a Department of Interior site informing them of the shutdown.

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