Mount Vernon and Bighorn River access closed
Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon. where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon: it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies.
The National Park Service has barred access to two fishing access sites on the upper reaches of the Bighorn River, a trout fishing mecca. The government shutdown took the form of 8-foot long concrete barriers that blocked access. Apparently they closed something down that they never even monitored all year long. The nearby Park Service contact station, where anglers pay a fee to launch their boats at the federal sites, had been empty all summer with no Park Service employees picking up trash or even enforcing the parking rules. Be aware that the federal government is ordering private contractors to close campgrounds and the like on federal lands even where such properties do not rely upon federal funds to operate even though, in many cases, these properties generate revenue for the federal government. Similar closures were not ordered during prior shutdowns, so they would not seem to be required. The fact that some facilities are being closed now when they were not closed during prior shutdowns suggests these are discretionary choices.