Local/Regional News
2:17 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

National Park Campgrounds Now Empty

Campers had until today to leave Cumberland Gap National Park
Potential visitors greeted with closed phone and internet messages. All campsites are now empty.

LEXINGTON, Ky--Today is the final day for campers at National Parks to vacate. 

Carol Borneman, the Park Superintendent at Cumberland Gap National Park calls it “phase two of the shutdown.”  Rangers wanted to give visitors time to pack their belongings and make plans to move to other sites; like state run parks, that remain open.  Anyone searching National Parks on-line or on the phone is greeted with “sorry we are closed due to the Federal Government Shutdown” messages.

Only six employees out of 58 at Cumberland Gap are considered “essential” and remain on staff at the park.  Borneman says she hates that term saying…”everyone is essential.”   She’s spoken with several of her colleagues who have been furloughed and says they are disappointed and ready for the stalemate to end…and it’s more than a paycheck they are missing…

“We have 52 highly trained, very passionate folks who understand their very important role and again, protecting this incredible treasures.  Folks want to be here working.  They want to be sharing the incredible resources with park visitors.”

Only campers who were already on the grounds when the federal government shut down could remain until today.  Now no one will be allowed in the park until congress comes to an agreement and brings everyone back to work.