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October 11, 2013 | By Hugo Martín
The mild weather and cool temperatures of October make it one of the busiest months for rock climbing guides Seth Zaharias and his wife, Sabra Purdy. This time of year they're usually leading climbers up massive boulders and sheer canyons in Joshua Tree National Park. Then the government shutdown closed national parks Oct. 1. The couple now spend their day writing refund checks to dejected clients. In the first week of the shutdown, Zaharias estimates, he lost $2,500 in revenue.
October 11, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
If a national park in California is closed, does it make a sound? Of course not. But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of howling going on in places like Yosemite these days from businesses that depend on tourism. And it's beyond me why Sacramento is turning a deaf ear. Everyone knows that Park Service employees have been furloughed during the government shutdown and so the national parks are closed. But on Thursday, the Interior Department offered a way out: It would reopen parks if states agreed to pick up the tab. Utah jumped at the chance . But California?
October 10, 2013 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO--Gov. Jerry Brown is not jumping to accept an offer by the Obama administration to use state money to reopen national parks closed by the federal government shutdown. The Interior Department announced Thursday that it would consider reopening parks if states pledged to foot the bill for now-furloughed National Park Service personnel. Some governors have asked for authority to operate parks in their state, and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has already indicated he'd take the federal government's offer.
October 9, 2013 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Those in power are fond of saying that a crisis shouldn't be allowed to go to waste. But as the government shutdown continues to spread malaise across the country, it's not congressional leaders who are seizing that mantra but entrepreneurs. For a select group, the shutdown has become a valuable marketing tool. They are scrambling to make lemonade out of the lemons Congress has lobbed at the American public. A large insurance company that has a boutique operation selling wedding policies is warning jittery brides and grooms to take note of all those weddings that got unexpectedly canceled at national parks.
October 3, 2013 | By Hugo Martín
Washington's fiscal deadlock has closed the country's national parks for a third day in a row, forcing travel and tourism officials to find other ways to entertain frustrated vacationers. Visitors turned away from Yosemite National Park, for example, are being directed by local tourism officials to the Gold Rush-era town at Bodie State Historic Park, about 70 miles away. They're also being urged to try the zip lines, horseback adventures and hiking trails near the Merced River. Travel industry officials can't yet document the effect of the partial federal shutdown on the nation's $597-billion tourism industry.
October 3, 2013 | By Christopher Reynolds
We're sorry, world. As you know, countless travelers from around the globe got shafted this week when U.S. elected officials, unable to compromise on a budget, closed down more than 400 national park system sites (and much of the federal government). But just because our intransigent officials have locked you out of Yellowstone and Yosemite - and left legions of Americans without needed income or services - that doesn't mean you have to sit in your hostel in your black socks and sandals, cursing your luck and our leaders.
October 2, 2013 | By Kurt Streeter and Scott Gold
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. - Clare Cogan and Daniel Mohally stood forlornly inside the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, trying to determine how to salvage their honeymoon. The Cork, Ireland, couple had flown to the United States last week for a honeymoon that started in San Diego and will end in San Francisco. In between - the highlight of their trip - was an excursion to Yosemite. "We grew up seeing pictures of it in books," said Cogan, a 31-year-old receptionist. "You know, the cars underneath those huge sequoia trees.
October 1, 2013 | By Tony Barboza and Jason Wells
Yosemite National Park celebrated its 123rd birthday with a major nod from Google on Tuesday. From the federal government, not so much. One of the most visible repercussions of the federal government shutdown -- the immediate closure of the country's 401 national parks -- was made all the more obvious Tuesday with a Google Doodle that payed homage to Yosemite. But starting Tuesday morning, visitors will find entrance gates closed and barricaded, visitor centers shuttered and their camping and hotel reservations   canceled, park officials said.
September 27, 2013 | By Evan Halper and Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon would furlough 400,000 civilian workers and temporarily stop paying death benefits to military families. The National Park Service would close all 401 national parks and give overnight campers two days to leave. Calls to the IRS would go unanswered. Those are among the effects that the public probably will notice first if federal agencies start shutting down Tuesday because Congress has failed to pass a bill to provide money for the new fiscal year. Agencies began disclosing their contingency plans Friday, and the announcements immediately became part of the partisan back-and-forth over whether the government will shut down and who is to blame.
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