County state parks ready for shutdown [UPDATED]Published 9:53am Thursday, June 30, 2011 Updated 11:55am Thursday, June 30, 2011
Whether visitors will be able to drive their vehicles into Glendalough or Maplewood state parks depends on whether a state budget agreement is reached by today. If not, park gates will be closed by late afternoon.
Visitors, if a state shutdown gets underway Friday, could park at the gates just outside the parks and walk in for usage of both Glendalough near Battle Lake and Maplewood near Pelican Rapids. Overnight park usage, however, would not be allowed.
“If there’s no budget agreement by today (Thursday), we’ll close the gate just past the Molly Stark access at 4 p.m.,” said Glendalough State Park Manager Jeff Wiersma. “It’s our hope, of course, that a budget agreement is reached and this (park closing) can be avoided.”
Sharing that same opinion is Don DelGreco, the new park manager at Maplewood State Park.
“We’re like everybody, hoping there can be an agreement before July 1,” said DelGreco. “If not, we’ll be barricading our entrance just off of Highway 108, about 4 p.m. today (Thursday).”
People already in campgrounds at Glendalough, Maplewood and other state parks all across Minnesota will have to break camp by this afternoon if a state budget agreement has not been reached. The parks, as determined in a court ruling on Wednesday, are not seen as essential government services and would not be staffed.
Refunds will be given to people who have made reservations for July. The DNR says people with reservations directly impacted by an actual interruption in government services will be refunded after services are restored. Cancellation penalties would be waived, in the event of a state governmental shutdown.
Sales of fishing and hunting licenses would be suspended in the event of a state shutdown. Today, if a shutdown is likely, would be the final day (last day of June) to purchase licenses. The DNR website will be inaccessible if there is a state shutdown.Tags: Glendalough State Park, government shutdown, Maplewood State Park