Government Shutdown: Feds Fine Washington State Tourists $125. Ranger: “Didn’t Have a Choice.”

October 16, 2013

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“If our government shuts down the parks we pay for but then comes back and have staff to ticket you? That’s horrible!”

That was the reaction of one tax payer to news that people going behind what have become known as “Barry-cades” at National Parks and Memorials are being ticketed $125. 

Govt shutdown olympic national park

 

Tickets were issued on Saturday on the Olympic National Peninsula where a teacher bringing foreign exchange students for a hike in God’s country was ticketed for going behind a Barry-cade. From the Peninsula Daily News,

They pulled off Highway 101 at Lake Crescent, got out and posed for a picture behind the Storm King Ranger Station when Ranger Jennifer Jackson pulled up and wrote all three drivers tickets. Each carries the $125 fine for entering the park during the government shutdown.

And what did the sign say? 

Because of the federal government shutdown, this National Park Service facility is closed.

The teacher assumed by “facilities” it meant bathrooms and the Ranger station. Wrong. 

Photo by KOMO News
Photo by KOMO News

The Ranger told visitors that “She didn’t have a choice,” according to KOMO News. And that is probably true. According to the Washington Times, Park Service employees have been ordered to make the government shutdown as “difficult for people as we can,”

“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

 

 

Here’s KOMO’s story: 

 

  

 

The park ranger, who will be paid,  told visitors and reporters that she isn’t being paid during the shutdown.

But here’s the coup de grace,

Local park officials could not be reached for comment Monday because it was a federal holiday, Columbus Day.

Department of Interior officials also could not respond because of the holiday.

Or maybe this is,

Both women plan to challenge their tickets.

“I’m definitely going to go to the federal courthouse and try to fight it,” Potts said.

Unfortunately, the federal courtroom is in Tacoma.Govt Shutdown sequim to tacoma

That’s 90 miles away.    

Postscript: When the Feds take over state lands they call the shots. Perhaps states will fight harder from now on when the Feds want to do them a ‘favor’ and take land for a park.