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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Deputy shooting fallout: The children of a Portola man who was shot and killed at Eastern Plumas Health Care last year are seeking millions of dollars in damages.
  • The trout must go: The state is planning to pull all of the brook trout out of a Plumas County lake in order to protect the yellow-legged frog.
  • Inspections delayed: Cal Fire was scheduled to begin property inspections this week, but decided to wait until the public could better understand what the inspectors are doing.

Government shutdown forces closure of Lassen Volcanic National Park

10/1/2013 - Mineral, CA

Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) has closed all 401 national parks, including Lassen Volcanic National Park. All visitor facilities including Kohm Yah-mah-nee visitor center, Loomis museum, Drakesbad guest ranch, Manzanita Lake cabins, campgrounds and roads – including Lassen National Park Highway thru the park– are closed. The park will remain closed until the government reopens. 

Park Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz stated that park visitors in all overnight campgrounds and lodges will be given until 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 3 to make travel arrangements and leave the park. In addition, all park programs and special events have been canceled, including: school group programs, youth camping programs, and ranger-led talks at Kohm Yah-mah nee Visitor Center. 

Lassen Volcanic National Park hosts 1,100 visitors on average each day in October; nationally, more than 715,000 visitors a day frequent the National Park System. The park will lose an estimated $1,600 of entrance and camping fees each day of the shutdown and the park concessioner will lose an estimated $125,000 in revenue. Nationwide the NPS stands to lose approximately $450,000 per day in lost revenue from fees collected at entry stations and fees paid for in-park activities such as cave tours, boat rides and camping. Gateway communities across the country see about $76 million per day in total sales from visitor spending that is lost during a government shutdown. Visitors spend about $15,807,000 a year in the communities around Lassen Volcanic National Park. 

In Lassen Volcanic National Park, 115 employees are on furlough because of the shutdown and another 25 concessions employees are similarly affected. A limited number of employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services. 

Nationwide the shutdown has also furloughed more than 20,000 National Park Service employees; approximately 3,000 employees remain on duty to ensure essential health, safety, and security functions at parks and facilities. About 12,000 park concessions employees are also affected. 

Because it will not be maintained, the National Park Service website will be down for the duration of the shutdown. NPS.gov has more than 750,000 pages and 91 million unique visitors each year. 

For updates on the shutdown, please visit www.doi.gov/shutdown. 

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