Grand Teton National Park Closure

Jackson Hole Favorites is not a political blog. But I can barely restrain myself when at one of the most magical times of the year in Jackson Hole – early October – the Parks are closed. I was angry the other day when I walked up the Moose-Wilson road from Teton Village. I thought I would be able to go as far as the Granite Canyon Trail Head in Grand Teton National Park. But no, the Government shutdown brought to all of us by our dysfunctional government reared its ugly head. I hit a literal roadblock.

Government Shutdown Grand Teton National Park

This is what happens with a disfunctional government.

Why are the Parks closed? Who is at fault?  Each of you has your own answer. But one thing is for sure, it is not the fault of Park employees. The rank and file who work for the Park service by and large does the job for the satisfaction it brings them.  Certainly not for the money they are paid or the living conditions they endure.

That is why the letter Jon Jarvis, Director of the Park Service, wrote to his employees hit the mark. He said in part:

“The functions we must perform under a shutdown are not the reasons any of us joined the National Park Service, but they are the duties we are required to perform by law and regulation… Park employees want to get back to the business of welcoming people to their public lands … Turning visitors away is simply not in our DNA.”

So, whatever your political views remember that Park Service employees do not want to be in the position they are in. They are forced to turn us away by forces beyond their control. And by the way, shame on any politician that attempts to use the fact that they are doing their job for political purposes.

Because you see, those Park Service employees are some of my Jackson Hole Favorites.

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