The threat of a partial government shutdown is just hours away on Monday, and for national parks, like Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park in Munising, that means a shutdown of the park and laying off dozens of federal workers.
If the House Republicans and Senate Democrats are not able to reach an agreement by midnight, 20 permanent employees and 14 temporary employees at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore will be furloughed.
The park will keep five law enforcement employees on staff for the purpose of security and emergency services. Chief Ranger Tim Colyer says he and his staff are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.
"If they don't reach an agreement, we've been working with our regional and national offices just to have a contingency plan on the impacts of how a government shutdown will affect us so that we know what types of vital operations we still have to have running and what types of things will not be available," said Colyer.
The looming threat of a government shutdown will also affect tourists of the national park, many who travel from afar to see a piece of upper Michigan's best kept secret. Whatever the outcome may be, after the clock strikes midnight, Ranger Colyer and his staff plan to report to duty as usual.