CRATER LAKE, Ore.– With the ongoing government shutdown, one issue making headlines across the nation is the toll the shutdown is taking on national parks.
In California and Oregon, parks have been forced to partially or completely close – some plagued by sanitation issues – as employees responsible for maintaining facilities are on furlough.
down the line
While the roads may see some business on the way up to Crater Lake National Park, for locals living along Highway 62, it’s a different story.
“It has slowed business down to almost a standstill with visitors coming up,” said Samantha Schaafsma, a local in the prospect area.
She says that all the businesses, from gas stations to restaurants and bars, everyone is feeling the slowness. Even Beckie’s, a staple for many on the way to Crater Lake, is having a slower than normal season according to management.
Schaafsma says over the past couple weeks she’s met many people shocked to hear the park was closed.
“For instance, last week we had four couples that come up,” she said. “They were very disappointed when I told them it was shut down.”
But portions of the road leading up to Crater Lake weren’t blocked off but remained unclear from snow. Still, cars were seen driving through even though a sign at the West Entrance said the road was closed to vehicles.
Schaafsma’s said she’s seen what’s been reported at national parks across the country where trash and litter have been left out and hopes Crater Lake doesn’t fall victim.
“I think that’s just disrespectful and people weren’t raised right,” said Schaafsma. “I mean really, if you weren’t raised right you’re going to do that to people.”
All facilities in the park have been shut down, including restrooms. While it’s possible to hike, snowshoe, or ski to the rim, visitors must do so at their own risk.
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