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Over 500 Lose Jobs from National Park Shutdown

October 02
19:40 2013

ShutdownJobLossThe National Park Service estimates that over 500 concessions employees from Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas will lose their jobs as a result of the October 1, 2013 government shutdown.  Antelope Point Marina is also shutting down completely by Friday.  As far as local National Park service employees in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument, 125 employees are on furlough because of the shutdown.  Fifty-one employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services.

National Park Enforces Phase Two of Shutdown

An update from the National Park Service (NPS) states that that they have closed all 401 national parks, including Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument due to the October 1 shutdown of the federal government.  The closed visitor facilities including Carl Hayden Visitor Center, park lodges, campgrounds and roads. The parks will remain closed until the government reopens.  Phase two of shutdown operations is underway as the shutdown continues which means park visitors in overnight campgrounds and lodges have until 6pm Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, October 3 to make travel arrangements and leave the park. In addition, all park programs and special events have been canceled.

Glen Canyon Loses Revenue

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument host 2100 visitors on average each day in October.  It is estimated the park will lose an estimated $2000 of entrance fees alone each day of the shutdown. Nationally, the shutdown is causing a loss of about $76 million per in sales from visitor park spending.  Locally, here in an average year, about $238 million a year is spent by visitors who come to visit the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument.

Dam Fully Operational; Closed to Visitors

Glen Canyon Dam Facility Manager, Jason Tucker, confirmed that even though there have been some reports that the Carl Hayden Visitor’s Center is open, it is closed and will remain closed until further notice.  Associated tours and education programs have also been suspended during this time.

The dam remains fully operational with “the lights on and the water flowing,” according to Tucker.  Glen Canyon Power Plant has a total capacity of 1,320 megawatts and annually produces approximately five billion kilowatt-hours of power to help sustain the electrical needs of about 5.8 million customers.

Non-essential personnel with the Bureaus of Reclamation and Land Management not required to work for the reasons of health, safety, or law enforcement duties have also been furloughed any planned agency events have also been cancelled.

Navajo Nation Parks are Open

While our national parks are closed, Navajo Nation parks are all open and will remain open.  Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department Manager Martin L. Begaye reminds everyone that tribal parks not affected by the federal government shutdown.  Begaye also said Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation is receiving a lot of questions regarding the impact of the federal shut down upon its tribal parks.

Navajo tribal parks include Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park which manages Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, the Upper part of East Waterholes and Lower part of East Waterholes.

Midday Interview with Brian Carey, National Park Service, October 2, 2013

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