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    Federal Government shutdown impacts Wyoming sites

    Officials have announced a partial federal government shutdown, which includes the closure and/or limited services of federal sites, parks and landmarks throughout Wyoming.
    In Wyoming, the federal government shutdown interrupts national parks, national recreation areas and natural historic sites, particularly when it comes to access, services, emergency personnel and ranger-led tours. While the shutdown is closing some national parks, recreation areas and historic sites (and affiliated visitor centers, restrooms, etc.), Yellow Stone National Park and Grand Teton National Park remain open.
    • Yellowstone National Park: Entrance gates are open, but not staffed. Although government-run operations and facilities are closed, visitors can access the road from Gardiner to the northeast entrance and all the commercial services along the route. Visitors can also access commercial services in the interior of the park (e.g. at Old Faithful), as funding is available for ongoing road maintenance. All park regulations, including those regarding oversnow travel, still apply. Guided snowmobiling trips with commercial operators is allowed. Non-commercially guided snowmobile trips are not allowed during the shutdown. If conditions become unsafe at any time, roads and/or developed areas in the park will be closed. The park will provide limited emergency services.
    Old Faithful Snow Lodge, operated by Yellowstone National Park Lodges, remains open. In-park restaurants and gift shops remain open as regularly scheduled. Tours and activities may be modified based on road and weather conditions. For the most current information on services offered by Yellowstone National Park Lodges, visit www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com or call 307-344-7311.
    • Grand Teton National Park: Entrance gates are open, but not staffed. Visitors can access the park with no visitor services available. Ranger-led snowshoe hikes are not available.
    In addition, government-operated facilities are closed. Park roads that are open will remain open if they are essential to respond to emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property; this includes most roads that are normally maintained open at this time of year. Access to all residences will be maintained, while concessioners and commercial-use authorization holders may continue to provide visitor services after coordination with the park to ensure compliance with government shutdown protocols. National park websites and social media are not maintained during a shutdown. Emergency response is available, but limited, with the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center available from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily (Teton County Dispatch will continue to answer emergency calls, as usual, outside those hours).
    • Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: All park facilities (restrooms, visitor centers, etc.) are closed; visitor access to recreation areas, trails and fishing on the area’s waterway remain open.
    • Devils Tower National Monument: Access is unavailable.
    • Fossil Butte National Monument: Facilities are closed.
    • Fort Laramie National Historic Site: All fenced facilities are closed.
    • National Elk Refuge: Sleigh ride tours on the National Elk Refuge through Double H Bar will continue as previously scheduled. For more information on ticket sales and services, please call the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce at 307-733-3316.
    Visitors to all of Wyoming’s national parks, historic sites and recreation areas are advised and encouraged to practice caution and follow all safety protocol on national lands, as emergency services are limited as part of the shutdown.
    Authorized and licensed guides with special use permits and commercial-use authorization holders will continue to operate on federal lands, including U.S.F.S. land, and will continue previously scheduled tours as planned. Visitors are encouraged to contact those individual businesses for the most current information on their scheduled tour.
    While federal sites are affected by the shutdown, there are abundant options for travelers who have trips planned into impacted national parks, historic sites, etc.
    • Wyoming State Parks remain open and unaffected, with abundant recreation options at Boysen State Park near Riverton and Lander, Hot Spring State Park in Thermopolis, Buffalo Bill State Park in Cody, Glendo State Park near Laramie, Keyhole State Park in Moorcroft, Curt Gowdy State Park near Laramie and Bear River State Park in Evanston Parks offer ice fishing (with valid fishing license), hiking, natural hot springs, fat tire biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and sledding. For more information, visit http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/.
    • On the eastern side of Yellowstone National Park, Cody has an array of visitor offerings, including the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, while nearby Thermopolis is home to Hot Springs State Park, soaking pools and the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. www.codyyellowstone.org
    • In western and northwest Wyoming, visitors can ski and snowboard at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee, Snow King and White Pine Ski Area. Scenic drives are also available on the Star Valley Scenic Byway. www.jacksonholechamber.comwww.visitpinedale.org
    For more information, visit www.TravelWyoming.com.
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