DNR Closes State Parks, Minn. Campers Pull Up Stakes

MARINE ON ST. CROIX (WCCO) — If the Minnesota government does indeed shutdown Friday, it will force thousands of people to change their July 4th vacation plans.

Erica Lesher planned on a relaxing day at William O’Brien State Park. However, instead of enjoying her final day of vacation, she had to end it early.

“We’re gonna take off and hopefully we can come back in a couple of weeks,” said Lesher.

Lesher is among thousands campers all over Minnesota who packed up and were kicked out of their campsite — just in time for the holiday weekend.

On Thursday, the DNR had already shut down state parks at 4 p.m. More than 5,500 campsites are now off limits around Minnesota.

This is happening leading into the busiest month of the year, and it means millions in lost revenue for the DNR and some families who’ve had to cut vacations short.

Last July, approximately 270,000 people vacationed at state park campsites. It’s a number that was on track for this year.

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