A compromise on a continuing resolution to keep the government funded for 45 days keeps Yellowstone open through the fall season.
In a surprising move yesterday afternoon, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy introduced legislation finding the government for the next 45 days, facing a deadline of 12:01 a.m. today (Sunday). That legislation, considered a “clean” bill by legislators on both sides of the aisle, also includes disaster relief funds but did not include funding for Ukraine or changes to border-control tactics. That compromise passed by a wide 335-91 margin, with 90 Republicans in opposition and one Democrat.
The bill then went to the Senate, where it easily passed by an 88-9 margin.
The immediate impact for readers of this site: Yellowstone National Park will remain open for the rest of the fall season, with roads slated to close across the Park on Oct. 31. (Weather permitting, of course; The Beartooth Highway between Long Lake barricade, near Top of the World Store, and the Montana/Wyoming state line is closed through Monday due to forecasted winter weather conditions. A decision on reopening will have tomorrow, Oct. 2.)
So this clears the way for an October visit to the Park–a surprisingly popular activity. Many services, hotels and restaurants are closing as of today, including Lake Village, some Canyon lodging and Old Faithful Lodge. Click here to see what’s open and what’s closing at Yellowstone.
The National Park Service had warned of park closures across the country when there was the chance of an Oct. 1 shutdown. From an NPS release:
However, in the event of a lapse in annual government appropriations, National Park Service (NPS) sites will be closed. This means that the majority of national parks will be closed completely to public access. Areas that, by their nature, are physically accessible to the public will face significantly reduced visitor services.
At NPS sites across the country, gates will be locked, visitor centers will be closed, and thousands of park rangers will be furloughed. Accordingly, the public will be encouraged not to visit sites during the period of lapse in appropriations out of consideration for protection of natural and cultural resources, as well as visitor safety.
Visitors should expect that many of the services and facilities they depend on at national parks will be closed or largely unavailable during a shutdown.
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