Residents of the Eastern Sierra continue to express deep disappointment in Congressional failure to keep the government running. Those employed by the federal government have a deeper level of concern. Many of them are out of work.
Only through informal reports and nothing official, the Inyo National Forest and all of its ranger stations and the Interagency Center shut down yesterday with reports that law enforcement and fire fighters remain available. The Bishop Chamber of Commerce said that Rock Creek is accessible although no new permits will be issued. Bishop Creek Canyon is accessible with no new backpacking permits to be issued. The Bristlecone Pine Forest has open access, but the Visitor Center is closed. Whitney Portal, including campgrounds and the store, are open. A recording on the Forest Supervisor’s phone in Bishop said, “We are not in the office at this time. We are on furlough due to the lack of federal government funding.”
The Director of the Manzanar National Historic Site, Les Inafuku did communicate the impacts at that national park. He said that Manzanar is closed and 16 employees furloughed. Staff did put up barricades with closure notices at the entrance to Manzanar. The visitors center is closed. The rangers at Manzanar called the many schools and groups scheduled for special presentations to tell them things are currently canceled. One staff member stayed on duty to maintain the facility.
Death Valley National Park is officially closed although Furnace Creek Resorts remain open. So does Panamint Springs Resort, Highway 190 and Scotty’s Castle Road. Scotty’s Castle and the Visitor Center are closed. Yosemite is closed with access through it on Highway 120. Weddings planned for the two hotels in the park have been moved to a resort outside the park.
Other areas of potential impact are our local governments that receive federal funding. Mono County Administrator Jim Leddy said that currently he expects no impacts on health and social services for October. He expects a report from the California State Association of Counties that will help “quantify the impacts to our County.” Leddy said potential areas of impact include Child Welfare Services, Senior Nutrition Programs and Workforce Investment Act programs.