Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Shutdown Drama: Goats are Furloughed, the Ocean is Closed, and Jackbooted Thugs Grimly Deter Tourists

Published on October 7, 2013 by   ·   No Comments

Lily Dane/Activist Post

Government Shutdown Theater continues, and so do the ridiculous federally-ordered closures.

We’ve all heard about the hundreds of thousands of government workers who were furloughed because of the government shutdown, but humans weren’t the only ones impacted. Twenty-eight hard-working Nubian goats were sent home because of concerns about their place of employment being closed by the feds. The goats were hired to take care of a poison ivy infestation in New Jersey’s Gateway National Recreation Area.

Speaking of parks and recreational areas, a privately-owned inn in North Carolina was forced to close on Thursday because it operates in a leased building on federal land. On Friday, the owner, Bruce O’Connell, decided to defy the government and reopen his dining room, gift shop and country store. That lasted about two hours. National Park Service rangers blocked the entrances to the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway, effectively shutting down business at the height of tourism season. The inn was booked solid for October.

The feds also tried to close another privately-funded tourist site – George Washington’s Mt. Vernon estate. The National Park Service showed up on Tuesday and barricaded the parking lots. 

This displeased former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

 

Mt. Vernon officials approached the NPS, which removed the barricades “as soon as they realized their mistake,” said Melissa Wood, the site’s media director. She added that the Park Service maintains the parking lots, but Mount Vernon owns the property.

The NPS closed a historical farm that hasn’t received government funding since 1980. The Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean, Virginia, was hosting a Chamber of Commerce event when the NPS sent the Park Police over to escort staff and volunteers off the property. Anna Eberly, the site’s managing director,said, “You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them any money.”

Eberly makes an excellent point. Our taxpayer money is being wasted on this shutdown. The placement of Barrycades all across the country is a good example of this:

How many NPS employees does it take to post “closed” signs? Are these “essential” employees?

It seems like all of these closures require more staff than keeping the sites open does.

Meanwhile, in Arizona: More than 100 U.S. Forest Service campgrounds and areas run by the Arizona-based company Recreation Resource Management were forced to evacuate and shutter up. RRM president Warren Meyer told Fox Business, “our operations are self-sufficient (we are fully funded by user fees at the gate), we get no federal funds, we employ no government workers on these sites, and we actually pay rent into the Treasury. I can only assume their intention is to artificially increase the cost of the shutdown as some sort of political ploy.”
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