Party Crashers: Yosemite Can’t Celebrate Its Own Anniversary Due To Government Shutdown
You would cry, too, if it happened to you
If you’ve been on Google at all today, you’ll have noticed its Google Doodle is a tribute to Yosemite National Park. Today marks the park’s 123rd birthday—a landmark worth celebrating, to be sure—though it’ll prove tough to throw any kind of party: as is the case with all of the U.S.’s national parks (and zoos and monuments), Yosemite is closed due to the government shutdown. And when we say closed, we mean closed—you can’t even visit its website without running into trouble:
Under normal circumstances, Yosemite is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But because of the first government shutdown in 17 years (the last shutdown occurred in 1995-96, when then-President Clinton and his Republican Congress bickered for three weeks over Medicare and the 1996 federal budget, among other things), the park has been forced to roll out a two-part closure strategy. According to the National Park Service Contingency Plan, all “day visitors” will be instructed to leave immediately as a part of phase one. Phase two will see the removal of overnight visitors (campers, hikers, et al.) and all commercial services will end. In total, the process will take four days.
Nevertheless, we’d like to warmly wish Yosemite National Park a very happy birthday. The celebration might be lacking in attendees, but just remember: it’s your party. At least you can cry if you want to.