Federal shutdown shutters Cabrillo National Monument
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Oct 02, 2013 | 16837 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The partial government shutdown triggered by congressional posturing has forced the closure of Cabrillo National Monument and could cause cancellation of the park’s planned three-day Centennial Celebration Weekend on Oct. 12-14.           Photo by Mike McCarthy I The Beacon
The partial government shutdown triggered by congressional posturing has forced the closure of Cabrillo National Monument and could cause cancellation of the park’s planned three-day Centennial Celebration Weekend on Oct. 12-14. Photo by Mike McCarthy I The Beacon
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The inability of Congress to reach a midnight deal Oct. 1 over the nation’s budget appropriations has claimed a major local casualty — the beloved Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma.

Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) has closed all 401 national parks, including Cabrillo National Monument, according to NPS officials. 

All visitor facilities at Cabrillo, including the visitor center, lighthouse, Military History Exhibit, tidepools, bayside trail, bookstore and all of the park grounds are closed. The park will remain closed until the government reopens when Congress can finally reach an accord. 

At Cabrillo National Monument, 22 employees are on furlough because of the shutdown and another eight employees at the park are similarly affected, according to a statement.  A few excepted employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services. 

Further comment and insight could not be obtained because of the furloughs and inability of employees to access their government emails during the shutdown, said one official.

All park programs and special events have been canceled, including those for nearly 400 local school children who had planned field trips to the park in the next two weeks. The park’s three-day Centennial Celebration Weekend is also now in jeopardy.

For the last year, the Cabrillo National Monument has been celebrating 100 years as San Diego’s only national park. The park has hosted several festivals to educate the community on the historical and scientific significance of the Cabrillo National Monument, and park officials had planned a weekend extravaganza Oct. 12-14.

Several events had been planned for the centennial weekend, including history tours of the lighthouse and World War II bunkers, an antique car show, a Cabrillo Cake-Off contest, and many other activities.

Cabrillo National Monument hosts thousands of visitors on an average day and more than 800,000 visitors per year. Nationally, more than 715,000 visitors a day frequent the National Park System. Cabrillo National Monument will lose an estimated $2,100 of entrance fees each day of the shutdown. Nationwide, the NPS stands to lose about $450,000 per day in revenue from fees collected at entry stations and fees paid for in-park activities like cave tours, boat rides and camping. Gateway communities across the country see about $76 million per day in total sales from visitor spending that is lost during a government shutdown.

For updates on the shutdown, visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.

— Mike McCarthy and Kevin McKay contributed to this story.
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