Many people in West Virginia wait for life to return to normal after the federal government shut down in early October.
Every media outlet in the country is reporting on the government shutdown, and with so much information—some of it conflicting—it’s hard to draw the line between fact and fiction. It doesn’t help that many offices and websites are closed to public access while the nation waits for a resolution. If you’re concerned about how the government shutdown affects our lives in West Virginia, we’ve kept the phones ringing in the New South Media office as we try to figure out who is open for business and who isn’t.
In particular, a list of the recreational areas directly affected follows, but it’s important to note the possible consequences. Businesses involved in tourism and recreation in the areas affected by the shutdown are also vulnerable to limited access and economic uncertainty. A discussion on the WV LIVING Facebook page illustrates that. Jeanne Muir, owner of the Thomas Shepherd Inn in Shepherdstown, says, “Tourism business owners like myself will be impacted quickly, especially those of us near national parks. I am holding my breath that the Freedom’s Run [freedomsrun.org] will happen in 11 days. It brings thousands of people to West Virginia for a very positive event.” The Thomas Shepherd Inn is approximately 13 miles from Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and five miles from Antietam National Battlefield.
Read what we've uncovered about sites across the state below.*
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The National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank is closed.
Areas Managed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
All trails, day areas, and campgrounds maintained by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) surrounding the Summersville Lake are closed. Bluestone Lake, Stonewall Jackson Lake, and Tygart Lake are open, despite the USACE furloughs, because they are not operated by the USACE.
Areas Managed by the National Park Service
New River Gorge National River Headquarters in Glen Jean is closed, along with the Canyon Rim Visitors Center and parking lot. Grandview Park is also closed, as it became part of the New River Gorge National River in 1990. White water companies are open and running. New River Gorge CVB representatives say Bridge Day won’t be affected.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is closed, but the businesses in Harpers Ferry and Bolivar are still open. The parking lot and shuttle at Cavalier Heights is closed, but visitors are welcome to find available parking on the streets of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar.
Although Bluestone National Scenic River is part of the National Park Service, the facilities are open and being maintained by Pipestem Resort State Park.
Areas Managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Area is closed, as is the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge Area.
The White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery is closed.
Areas Managed by the National Forest Service
Many of the visitor centers and campgrounds of the Monongahela National Forest are closed, as employees have been furloughed. Wilderness areas in the forest, such as Dolly Sods and Otter Creek, are still open to the public—but there are no rangers or conservation officers available.
*List subject to change as more information becomes available.
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