National parks around the country are closing up shop due to the government shutdown, and thousands of workers are being temporarily laid off.
For Isle Royale National Park workers, the time of year they usually begin to prep the island for closure is being bumped up about two weeks.
â??Basically, we have to winterize every water line and every building out there prior to shutdown in order to protect the taxpayersâ?? investments on buildings on the island,â?? explained Park Superintendent, Phyllis Green.
The park service has had to furlough about 100 of their workers, most of who work out on the island. For now, the Ranger III is docked in the canal, but starting Wednesday, it will make the trip out to the island to start bringing back nonessential personnel and some visitors.
â??At this point in time, we are not allowing concessions to take additional people to the island,â?? Green added. â??Weâ??re allowing them to go out and retrieve people from the island, and that will probably take through the end of next week.â??
Workers classified as â??essentialâ?? that will remain on the island until winterization is completed include utility and law enforcement staff and contractors working on the new seven million dollar solar panel system that will be installed next spring.
â??The contractorâ??s got a lot of design work heâ??ll be doing while weâ??re shut down,â?? Green explained, â??so that was a grant. We got the grant, so really itâ??s going to happen.â??
But for now, all other national park services will be closed.
â??Our national park leaf color season is a really wonderful time for people to be out in the woods, and people are going to find gates shut and unavailability,â?? Green said.