It's not over. Even though President Donald Trump has reached a deal to open the federal government after a historic 35-day stalemate, it's only temporary. News reports indicate that lawmakers get three weeks to reach a decision on Trump's demands for funding a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Since the government came to a standstill on Dec. 22, national parks, tourism-based economies, federal employees, and retailers have faced hardships.
- Jan. 2: Chaos unfolds in national parks amid government shutdown
- Jan. 7: NPS dips into visitor fees during government shutdown
- Jan. 10: AAC Op-Ed: Small businesses that rely on access to national parks and public lands are hurting
- Jan. 14: REI's Jerry Stritzke: How to help national parks right now
- Jan. 22: The trickle down effect of the government shutdown
“This shutdown has been a disservice to all Americans and the outdoor industry is relieved the government will reopen long enough for employees to receive paychecks and back pay, provide some relief to them and their families, and give time to clean up our parks and other public lands. Unfortunately, long-term damage has already been needlessly wreaked on the public by this nearly 6-week shutdown — whether it be vandalism at some of our most iconic national parks, or negative impacts to the local economies of gateway communities and businesses dependent on outdoor recreation visitors. OIA and our members will continue to push the administration and Congress to develop a long-term solution to funding our government, paying federal employees and protecting our public lands because we cannot keep using government shutdowns as a political tool — the consequences are too high."
National Parks Conservation Association President and CEO Theresa Pierno also issued a statement:
“The news of an agreement to fully reopen the federal government and put our 800,000 men and women back to work, and with pay, is a welcome one. This shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, has taken its toll in so many ways. Federal employees have gone unpaid, businesses have been hit hard and our national parks have suffered.
“Fully reopening the federal government will mean so much to so many. Federal employees will finally get paid and be able to return to their jobs. For rangers, it will mean returning to our national parks, assessing the terrible damage done to them while they were open with such limited staff, and once again welcoming visitors to the places they all love. Now is when the real work begins. The damage done to our parks will be felt for weeks, months or even years. We want to thank and acknowledge the men and women who have devoted their careers to protecting our national parks and will be working hard to fix damage and get programs and projects back up and running.
“We implore lawmakers to use this time to come to a long-term funding agreement and avoid another disaster like this. Federal employees, businesses, communities and national parks deserve better.”