Scores of federal government workers have been furloughed, which results in the closing of many offices and of areas in the national park system.
Thousands of visitors from near and far have been turned away from attractions in the area and in San Juan County. Closures impact Canyonlands National Park, Hovenweep National Monument and Natural Bridges National Monument. In addition, the closures impact Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and similar attractions throughout the area.
In addition to the closures, offices are not able to complete their work. A scheduled public hearing regarding a proposal to designate the Gunnison sage grouse as an endangered species was cancelled by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
While local tourism and lodging officials have worked hard to educate visitors about the many attractions that have not been closed, the closure has had a significant impact.
The closure comes at the end of the busy tourist season. One frustrated local motel owner explains that he spends most of the year paying his annual expenses, and it is at the end of the season that he can finally earn a profit. He fears that the federal government shutdown has effectively eliminated his chance to make a profit this year.
Many federal government workers have expressed frustration with their unexpected days off. They fear that the work is piling up, and their jobs will be even more demanding once they return.