Texas 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:
- Big Bend National Park: “Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating.”
- Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument: “Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating.”
- 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.