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National Park Services Could Close if Govt. Shuts Down

"We have five national parks that are either all or part in this county. We have a tremendous number of jobs that are impacted by our national parks," said President and CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Washington County, Tomas Riford.

SHARPSBURG, Md. - As the government is headed towards shutting down Monday at midnight, so is funding for national parks.

"All of the park facilities here at Antietam will be closed. That includes the visitors' center, our tour roads and any other buildings that would normally be open to visitors," said Superintendent of Antietam National Battlefield, Susan Trail.

The new budget year for the government starts on October, 1. Congress has not passed any laws that provide money to federal agencies for this new budget, along with the impasse between Congress and the President over the Affordable Care Act.

"We have five national parks that are either all or part in this county. We have a tremendous number of jobs that are impacted by our national parks. Just Antietam alone, for instance, creates more than $30 million of local economic impact," said President and CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Washington County, Tomas Riford.

Economic impact from visitors, like Richard Ondo. Ondo traveled from Ohio to Maryland Monday to visit Antietam National Battlefield. He planned on squeezing in a visit to Gettysburg, too.

"I was going to move on to Washington, D.C.," said Ondo. "I'm going to cancel that now that things are going down in a spiral here."

And the possible closings could affect more tourists' plans. Like, Maryanne Walz who traveled all the way from Oregon.

"If they (National Parks) were closed, that would be a shame because this is my goal and my desire to see everything I can, the places I've wanted to see, which is basically following the Civil War Battlefields," Walz said.

Walz blames all elected officials for the potential shut down, but says it won't stop her from meeting her goals.

If there is a shut down, there is no expected reopen date for parks like Antietam National Battlefield. However, Susan Trail said they'll continue to update their Facebook page to keep park lovers and goers, as well as future visitors informed.

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