Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

20 National Parks and Forests in Texas Closed During the Shutdown

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 11.26.34 AMTexas isn’t known for having a warm relationship with the federal government. A recent petition to the White House calling for Texas to secede garnered more than 100,000 signatures. The leading Republican candidate for Governor, state Attorney General Greg Abbott, has openly bragged about how much he loves suing the Obama administration. So Texans who disdain the federal government may be feeling a bit of schadenfreude today due to the federal government shutdown. But they could be missing out on some Texas treasures as a result.

There are several federal outposts in Texas, in the form of National Parks, Forests and Monuments. And as of today you’ll find yourself out of luck if you want to collect pine cones in Davy Crockett National Forest or Instagram a sunset at Big Bend National Park. All of them are closed because of the shutdown.

Here are thirteen national parks and seven national forests and grasslands closed as of today, with a description of each from their respective National Park websites:

  1. Big Bend National Park: “Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating.”
  2. Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument: ”Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating.”
  3. Amistad National Recreation Area: “Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating.”

You get the idea. And the list goes on: Big Thicket National Preserve; Chamizal National Memorial; Fort Davis National Historic Site; Guadalupe Mountains National Park; Lake Meredith National Recreation Area; Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park; Padre Island National Seashore; Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site; Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River; and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park are all closed during the shutdown.

Then there are the National Forests and Grasslands: Angelina National Forest; Davy Crockett National Forest; Sabine National Forest; Sam Houston National Forest; Caddo and Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) National Grasslands; Black Kettle and McClellan Creek Grasslands; Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands. Go to their websites and you”ll find this: ”Due to the lapse in federal government funding, the U.S. Forest Service, as with other federal agencies, is closed with the exception of certain essential services.  However, we will attempt to make timely updates about public health and safety on these web pages as appropriate. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.”

If you’re still hankering for the outdoors, don’t worry: there are plenty of Texas state parks still open, though they, too, faces budget problems of their own.


  • da Byrdz

    We Texans need to take our land back. By that I mean buy back these national parks and kick out the feds

    • Jonathan

      Hell yeah, let’s turn them into horse ranches

    • dude1394


  • Arthur Anderson

    National park websites are still available here:


  • aladatrot

    The President had to go out of his way to order some of these places closed – especially the ones which aren’t staffed. My theory is that they want this governmental shutdown to hurt the people so that folks will urge their congressmen to cave. I feel like we’re being used as pawns, and I don’t like it. I can handle not going to some national parks, but I cannot tolerate being fined or taxed if I choose to pay cash for my own healthcare. That’s ridiculous. Whether or not it’s smart to pay cash for healthcare is irrelevant – it should be my choice in a “free nation” .

    • MikeA

      It’s not a theory, an unnamed park service employee has said they were told to make things as difficult as possible for people. It just shows what a small vindictive little twerp Barry has turned out to be.

  • dude1394

    It is time to return all national parks to their respective states so they cannot be capriciously held political hostage by an ever increasing federal government.

  • Brad Edmonds

    Texas, and Texans, should give the finger to Obama and protest at the parks. The shutdown is purely political – not practical

  • MikeA

    Where’s Rick Perry on this? Tell Barry to pound sand!

    • TexanPatriot2

      State parks are open in Texas.

  • texas hunting girl

    I guess we cannot hunt this year at the lbj grasslands due to the government shut down. …

  • TexanPatriot2

    Buy back?
    We just seize them and nationalize in the name of Texas.

  • seanpatriot

    Opening Day is coming November 2nd. I will be hunting on Davy Crockett National Park, closed or not.

    • Tacklebox

      I second That – Shut down or not I am hunting. Even if it means being arrested. I have waited all year for this.

    • Karlos_Danger

      I would like to see a few Park Rangers …. lost permanently in the woods.

  • woodsman

    ^^^This article is not entirely true. The National Forests ARE OPEN. The related district offices and recreational/fee areas (i.e., campgrounds) are CLOSED. Hunter Camps and non-recreation/non-fee areas will continue to remain open to the public.

    • janieb34

      I find it hard to believe that since I just watched a video of a man who received a ticket for jogging through an area “owned” by our federal government. There have been many reports of people denied any kind of access to “government owned” land. Funny thing is, I thought the government was working for US????

  • Phil Gunner Vilardi

    I live in big thicket. Maybe the website is shut down but we are living it up here.

  • Tabor

    I live in amarillo tx the canadian river is closed it’s used for ohv (offloading) hunting and fishing if there’s water in there haha and camping a good all around place to go and hang out with friends and family there is never park rangers out there no trash cans no restrooms where has the Feds been they don’t do shit for the national parks they just find ways to spend that money on their own in divers the we as Americans need to stand up and fight for our rights it’s not our fault the government is fuck up why are we getting fucked texas needs to take back what’s ours

  • Eddie Selden

    Has anyone been to Guadalupe Mt NP since the govt. slimdown? I’m headed there Sunday, with plans to hike it whether ‘closed’ or not. Just wondering if anyone else has gone in.

  • thisnamealreadyexists

    Sam Houston was open for business during the shutdown.

  • james

    all Obama is trying to do is get even with people that does not support him and his actions. I have said from day one he was going to try and ruin the united states. now he has closed the grasslands which is the only place I have to hunt deer and hogs. I hope the people that voted for a person as sorry as he is is getting a full dose of his crap.

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