WASHINGTON -- The government shutdown continues with some glimmer of hope for those who would like to visit the nation's national parks: The Obama administration said it would consider offers from the states to use their own money to pay for park operations.
The shutdown continues to have far-reaching consequences for some, but minimal impact on others. Mail is being delivered. Social Security and Medicare benefits continue to flow. But the shutdown has been particularly harsh on those who rely on tourism, such as communities near the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone national parks.
Figures compiled by a coalition of retired park service workers indicate that some 700,000 people a day would have been visiting the parks and that the surrounding areas are losing $76 million in visitor spending per day.
In Washington, monuments along the National Mall have been closed, as have the Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo. Among the visitor centers that have closed: the Statue of Liberty in New York, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and Alcatraz Island near San Francisco. National wildlife refuges have been closed off to hunters and fishermen just as hunting season was getting underway in many states.
== Grand Canyon cites people for entering closed park ==
Nearly two dozen people have been issued citations for entering Grand Canyon National Park after a partial government shutdown forced its closure.
Grand Canyon Chief Ranger Bill Wright says some people have been caught at the South Rim, on trails, attempting rim-to-rim hikes or trying to sneak in through dirt roads.
All of the citations will be handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Wright says each of the 21 citations issued as of Monday has a mandatory order to appear in federal court.
A state highway that runs through the national park was closed after Grand Canyon officials found tourists removing barricades at overlooks along the road.
Wright says law enforcement will be patrolling the park around the clock. Most other park employees have been furloughed.
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