Programming Note: There will be no Fresh Air this evening. Instead, we will air the "Reveal" documentary, including a story on the path heroin takes.
Shut Down Shuts Out Grand Canyon Visitors, Employees
With the government officially closed, 438 Grand Canyon employees are being furloughed today. Visitors are being turned away at the park’s gate, and those already inside have 48 hours to clear out.
That means they have two days to make other arrangements if they’re in a lodge or established campground. But if they’re somewhere in the backcountry or already rafting the Colorado, park rangers won’t come looking for them.
Spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge says most of the park’s 558 employees are going into shutdown mode.
They’re “securing their offices and their files and their equipment and completing their time sheet and receiving a furlough letter,” she said.
But Oltrogge added that essential personnel are still on the job. Some park rangers needed for safety will be working. So too, will some services in Grand Canyon Village. The school, post office, clinic and at least one grocery store used by employees will stay open.