How Will The Government Shutdown Affect State Parks?

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — For those who enjoy visiting Minnesota’s state parks, the shutdown could affect where many of us spend our Fourth of July weekend.

If there’s no budget agreement very soon, state parks could close, and those holiday plans could be ruined. The parks could shut down as early as July 1, which is the peak of the summer camping season.

After a Cabinet meeting to discuss the shutdown, the message was not reassuring to Minnesotans whose 4th of July camping plans could be disrupted.

Tina Flint Smith, the Dayton Chief of Staff, said that Minnesotans should “urge their legislators to negotiate and come to the table on funding a budget solution so that we could avoid this.”

However, for anxious Minnesotans, that might not be good enough.

“We’re a little bit upset,” said Thomas Bailey, who just got a state park permit with his grandson. “I would hope that they would go ahead and finish it so that we can have a good summer, ’cause summers are short also, especially for family time.”

The Department of Natural Resources won’t yet reveal whether Minnesota’s 74 state parks will close. The parks are one of the high-profile state services that are very popular, but not essential.

The DNR reported that nearly 3,300 campers have reservations for the 4th of July weekend alone, and the agency has booked more than 13,000 reservations so far for the entire month.

The Dayton administration will take shutdown plans to a judge who will decide what stays open, and what closes.

More from Pat Kessler
  • Sarah in Outstate MN

    My family also has a state park pass and we walk the trails of our parks almost every weekend. We are visiting several parks in the next 3 weeks just in case they shut down. We have vacation plans in August to visit some parks further away and are really looking forward to doing that. I hope we won’t have to cancel.

  • Joe Hanson

    Call Governor Dayton at 651-201-3400 and tell him to accept the Legislatures balanced budget.

    “Let’s keep Minnesota open…”

  • wowreally

    call your legislature and tell them to accept the governors budget plans…

  • Murph

    Just another example of the GOP not caring about others.Other than the ultra rich and their major donors! There should be a law against the kind of game playing with peoples lives that they insist upon playing out.The end of the game has yet to be determineed and their P.T. Barnum approach is wearing mighty thin! Their candidates are sub par and their message is one thing and their intent is something else.Slavery has caused one war on our ground! Let’s hope they lose in 2012 so there is not another one!

    • StraycatStrut

      Only ONE person stands in the way of the proposed increased budget….Guess WHO? I think they should shut down the Governors Mansion and sell it off until we get some proper representation. Remember he won with a minority vote that was split. Send over the Wi Zombies with pen in hand and lets move forward.

      • Joe Hanson

        It’s not the Governors job to rubber stamp the legislature. Legislators are crazy people that twitter pictures of their junk while sitting on the floor of the house in St. Paul.

      • Jennifer

        LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

  • state parks r fun

    We have reservations for the 4th. But, I will find something to do with my kids if the state parks close. We’re resourceful. I’ll just be ticked about the money I already spent to reserve our site. Nice way to build up the coffers.

    • alex

      My grandma rented the clubhouse that week.. Id be upset if they dont refunt her money, its nearly 2,000 dollars

  • State employees

    How about thinking about all the families who will be affected because they will be out of work and not receiving pay checks because of the state shut down.

    • Starlight

      Union employees – who cares. They get paid through the nose.

      • State employees

        Actually Starlight that is not accurate. I have not had even a cost of living increase on my lower than the private sector wage in the last 4 years. When was your last raise?

        • james

          Sounds like prime time for a career change then.. this time pick a career where you create your own wealth versus getting your employer to take it from your neighbors.

          • State employees

            James, I would rather be laid off than see a tax increase.

  • Bonniejames

    No tax increase ! ! BOOT LAZY ASS WELFARE GRABBERS OFF THE DOLE ! PEOPLE WHO WANT ME TO PAY FOR THEIR FOOD, HOME HEATING, RENT, MEDICAL CARE SHOULD BE FORCED TO CLEAN PUBLIC TOILETS AND PICK UP TRASH ! ! Shame on Republicans for not pointing out that Welfare grubbers contribute to the deficit.

  • Jason

    Time to cut government employees. Like how wcco tries to whip up the liberals,

    • Tony G

      Yet another example of why the GOP is successful as only two posters appear to be pro Dayton, If they can not read and think for themselves then they are prime for the GOP propaganda,

  • Dave Seavy

    So it’s going to come down to one individual judge to decide what stays open and what doesn’t. Wonderful. Let’s hope this judge is indeed impartial and has no political agenda up his/her sleeve. What needs to happen here is the bone heads that allowed this to get out of hand should have to publicly explain why he/she hasn’t done their job. No blaming others – just a simple “Why I didn’t do my job” explanation would be nice.

  • Joe Hanson

    We can keep Minnesota open with the budget the Legislature delivered to Governor Mark Dayton. It is a budget that increases spending by more than $3 billion over the current budget.
    But Governor Dayton, supported by special interest groups, vetoed all the budget bills except Agriculture, insisting that a 10 percent increase is not enough. Governor Dayton and these special interest groups want a tax on the “wealthy” to fund what Governor Dayton is unable or unwilling to specify.
    If we can keep Minnesota open today, why can’t Governor Dayton keep Minnesota open in the next biennium with a budget that spends 10 percent more?

    • Joe Hanson

      Look how the greedy top 2% have destroyed this state. They bought the Republicans with the millions they take out of Minnesota’s economy. They started the Taxpayers league of Minnesota. Did you ever notice that the league gives a wink and a nod to raising the property taxes, The sales tax, and jacking up fees no problem. Then their bought and paid for Republicans have their feet stuck in cement on any mention of an income tax. There stealing from Minnesota.

  • Mike

    The shut down if it happens is a Minnesota problem. If it shuts down everyone should fill the pain. The only thing that should stay open is departments that are involved with safety. If they keep parks open all they are doing is trying not to lose your vote. If they have no problem laying off 36,000 Minnesotans’ they should not fill that bad if they wreck someone’s vacation.
    They need to shut it all down so we all remember what happened when we go to vote.

  • Jill

    I wonder if people realize how many people in addition to the state employees will be effected. I understand that my family might lose out on our camper cabin & living on a tight budget it will effect our ability to have a vacation this summer. We are one small family with a relatively small problem. So many more will lose out on income, healthcare, childcare… this is a problem that needs both sides to be more creative & willing to go against their party lines for the good of all.

  • Wilbur

    Just have them leave the gate open at the parks. It is the people of MN land so let people use it.

  • Ed

    well if they shut it down than we don’t need it keep it closed to balance the budget. Sell off the state parks to balance the budget and send the illegal immigrants back to Mexico. Cut the welfare and college scholarships.

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