Yellowstone says slim staff will provide basic services despite shutdown

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Admittedly operating with bareboned staffing, Yellowstone authorities today announced they will not let the nation’s oldest national park go to ruin.

“By Sunday, January 13, Yellowstone National Park will provide additional basic services during the lapse of government appropriations,” park representatives stated.

National Park Service (NPS) staff will:

  • Collect trash and clean bathrooms across the park. We appreciate the efforts of park concessioners, partners, and local community groups who have performed these services since December 22.
  • Staff entrance stations (all except Northeast) and the Madison Warming Hut to provide safety information for visitors. Fees will not be collected at the entrance stations.
  • Remove snow at Canyon overlooks to provide better visitor access and improve safety.
  • These additional basic services will be funded by the park’s recreation fee revenue as outlined in the recent statement by NPS Deputy Director, P. Daniel Smith. While basic visitor services have been restored, other services and facilities, including visitor centers, remain closed.

The park will continue to provide services that have been in effect since the shutdown began:

  • The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs to the Northeast Entrance at Cooke City, Montana, is open to wheeled vehicle travel. Visitors can access all the commercial services along this route.
  • Visitors can also access commercial services in the interior of the park via oversnow travel (e.g. at Old Faithful). The park extends a special thank you to the concessioners, especially Xanterra Travel Collection, who have made donations enabling NPS staff to groom roads and allow oversnow access to continue.
  • Guided snowmobile and snowcoach trips with commercial operators are allowed. Previously permitted non-commercially guided snowmobile trips are also allowed (new permits are not being issued).
  • Park staff are providing emergency services and law enforcement. All park regulations, including those regarding oversnow travel, are in effect as normal.

If conditions become unsafe at any time, roads and/or developed areas in the park may be closed. The park website and social media sites are not being maintained. All administrative offices, including the public affairs office, are closed until the government reopens.

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