The reports are coming in of incredibly petty shut downs beyond the WWII Memorial and Lincoln Memorial.

Newt Gingrich posted this image (h/t Twitchy) of a bus turnaround shut down at Mount Vernon:

They shut down the bus turnaround even though Mount Vernon is OPEN:

(video added 10-3-2013 h/t Crawdad Hole)

UPDATE added by Mandy, 10/2/2013 at 3:30 EST.

Here’s another example that was shared earlier today:

Claude Moore Colonial Farm is a living history farm in Virginia that provides visitors the opportunity to experience life as it was in 1771.  That experience comes complete with costumed interpreters and authentic recreations of tools, buildings, and everything else just as it was in that point in time.  The Farm is also economically self-sustaining, having been cut from the National Park Service’s budget in 1980.

But that hasn’t stopped the agency from shutting down Claude Moore Colonial Farm, despite the fact that the Farm is fully staffed on its own and prepared to open today.

In an email sent to supporters, the Farm’s Managing Director Anna Eberly wrote:

For the first time in 40 years, the National Park Service (NPS) has finally succeeded in closing the Farm down to the public. In previous budget dramas, the Farm has always been exempted since the NPS provides no staff or resources to operate the Farm. We weren’t even informed of this until mid-day Monday in spite of their managers having our email addresses and cell numbers.

The first casualty of this arbitrary action was the McLean Chamber of Commerce who were having a large annual event at the Pavilions on Tuesday evening. The NPS sent the Park Police over to remove the Pavilions staff and Chamber volunteers from the property while they were trying to set up for their event. Fortunately, the Chamber has friends and they were able to move to another location and salvage what was left of their party. You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them any money.

Responding to claims in a Washington Post story from a Park Service spokeswoman who said, “The monuments are closed because, during a shutdown, there is no money to pay the rangers who staff them,” Eberly called the excuse “utter crap.”

What utter crap. We have operated the Farm successfully for 32 years after the NPS cut the Farm from its budget in 1980 and are fully staffed and prepared to open today. But there are barricades at the Pavilions and entrance to the Farm. And if you were to park on the grass and visit on your own, you run the risk of being arrested. Of course, that will cost the NPS staff salaries to police the Farm against intruders while leaving it open will cost them nothing.

The Farm’s Board of Directors has apparently made appeals to the Park Service to keep the Farm open, only to be denied.  “They feel that as “landlord” they have absolute control of their property,” Eberly wrote.

She went on to emphasize the Farm’s independent and entrepreneurial spirit that has kept it running for so long.

One reason that citizens worked so hard to save the Farm in 1980-81was partly because the NPS tried so hard to get rid of it. But what really saved the Farm were the individuals and families with children and who had visited, participated in programs and volunteered. Even when the Farm was operated by the NPS (1972-1981), it had a very independent and entrepreneurial spirit which attracted like minded people. After all these years, we still believe that if we are willing to work hard enough, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish. And now there are a lot more of us who feel that way than in 1980.

Eberly concluded the email with an unsettling observation.

In all the years I have worked with the National Park Service, first as a volunteer for 6 years in Richmond where I grew up, then as an NPS employee at the for 8 very long years and now enjoyably as managing director for the last 32 years – I have never worked with a more arrogant, arbitrary and vindictive group representing the NPS.

In the end, a shutdown that probably shouldn’t even apply to the Claude Moore Colonial Farm may now affect its ability to earn income to operate it.

Update 10-3-2013:


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