Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

National Park Sites in Pa. Affected by Partial Shutdown over Budget

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

National Park Sites in Pa. Affected by Partial Shutdown over Budget

Article excerpt

Tourists hoping for a peek at Mamie Eisenhower's Wedgwood china and silver arranged for Christmas dinner at the Eisenhowers' Gettysburg, Pa., farm are out of luck until the partial federal government shutdown ends.

The Eisenhower National Historic Site is among National Park Service-operated facilities in Pennsylvania that closed Saturday after Congress and the White House failed to reach an agreement on how to fund President Donald Trump's proposed Mexico border wall.

Each December, the Eisenhower presidential retreat near the Gettysburg battlefield is decorated the way it was in the 1950s when that first family celebrated Christmas there. But holiday tours of the home - featuring festive poinsettias, a tree with all the trimmings and authentic Eisenhower Christmas cards - were halted by the budget standoff.

Over the weekend, the NPS posted a red alert to its website advising of changes in services and accessibility at most parks nationwide because of the government shutdown.

At the five NPS locations in Western Pennsylvania, including the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stoneycreek, near Shanksville, Somerset County, sites were open but services including visitor centers and restrooms were closed.

The NPS advisory warned that park roads may not be accessible depending on weather conditions.

The New River Gorge National River, an NPS site in southern West Virginia, warned visitors that while its roads and trails would be open, "hazardous or dangerous conditions may exist."

A recorded message Sunday at the Flight 93 Memorial said grounds will remain open sunrise to sunset, but "access could change without notice."

The other four national parks in Western Pennsylvania are the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site in Gallitzin, Cambria County; Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Farmington, Fayette County; Friendship Hill National Historic Site, Point Marion, Fayette County; and the Johnstown Flood National Memorial; South Fork, Cambria County.

Several of them had recorded messages Sunday advising callers to watch for news media reports about the federal budget to determine when park operations would resume. …

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