BIG BEND, TX (KWES) - Big Bend National Park is among those affected by the Government Shutdown, but Executive Director of Visit Big Bend Robert Alvarez wants to remind visitors the park is open 24 hours every day and there is still plenty to do.
“You can wrap the Rio Grande, you can horseback ride, you can go on private excursions with outfitters, so it's all still available to folk,” said Alvarez. “It's just that a lot of people think that because the government is shut down, the park is shut down.”
All park regulations remain in effect and will be enforced, but many of the park's services are unavailable or limited, including emergency services.
A lot of national parks have been faced with overfilled trash bins and dirt trails, but according to Alvarez, many private groups and the public have been working together to keep the park clean.
“Yeah, there are some volunteer groups that are helping out to make sure, really just to go in and be good samaritans. This is Texas' park,” said Alvarez. “The people of Texas own this park. They gave it to the federal government years and years and years ago, so there's a buy-in, so they want to be sure to protect their own national park.”
The Department of the Interior and National Park Service are putting together a plan to begin maintenance for the opening of the campgrounds, one of the only parts closed off to the public.