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Yellowstone Opening Briefly Before Winter

October 18, 2013 by   - () Leave a Comment

Employees of Yellowstone and Grand Teton got to work Thursday reopening the national parks after the 16-day federal government shutdown — just in time to have to close them up again for winter season in a couple weeks.

The Associated Press reported that most lodges and many facilities in the parks already had closed for the year before the shutdown began. Others remain open through October for the relatively few visitors who braved the encroaching cold so they can enjoy park attractions without so many tourists elbowing in.

Closing Grand Teton for the shutdown took three days and reopening will take about that long. Park employees headed back to work are faced with tasks that include unlocking restrooms, clearing any branches that fell on roads and making sure pipes haven’t frozen.

“It’s not a sort-of turn-key operation,” park spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said.

The annual elk hunt in Grand Teton scheduled to begin this coming Saturday will be postponed a few days. The shutdown hindered preparations for the hunt, Anzelmo-Sarles explained.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is offering refunds to hunters who bought tags for the hunt and whose plans over the hunt’s first few days have been interrupted, she said.

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