NPS Orders Closure of Park that Receives No Federal Funding
The National Park Service has ordered the closure of a Virginia park that sits on federal land, even though the government provides no resources for its maintenance or operation.
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm announced on Wednesday that NPS has ordered it to suspend operations until Congress agrees to a deal to fund the federal government.
According to Anna Eberly, managing director of the farm, NPS sent law enforcement agents to the park on Tuesday evening to remove staff and volunteers from the property.
“You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them any money,” she said.
The park withstood prior government shutdowns, noting in a news release that the farm will be closed to the public for the first time in 40 years.
“In previous budget dramas, the Farm has always been exempted since the NPS provides no staff or resources to operate the Farm,” Eberly explained in an emailed statement.
“In all the years I have worked with the National Park Service … I have never worked with a more arrogant, arbitrary and vindictive group representing the NPS,” Eberly said.
The farm is an historical reenactment site, which “authentically portrays the life of an 18th Century American family building a life on the nearer edges of civilized society,” according to its website.
Farm staff repeatedly asked the NPS to allow the farm to remain open. “Every appeal our Board of Directors made to the NPS administration was denied,” Eberly said.
She called the decision “utter crap.”
“We have operated the Farm successfully for 32 years after the NPS cut the Farm from its budget in 1980 and are fully staffed and prepared to open today. But there are barricades at the Pavilions and entrance to the Farm,” Eberly explained.
Previous federal funding battles have threatened the farm’s operations. A group of citizens in 1980 formed the Friends of Turkey Run Farm, established a $500,000 endowment for the farm, and negotiated a 30-year no-fee lease.
According to Eberly’s statement, farm staff have been in contact with Reps. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) and Jim Moran (D., Va.) in an attempt to reverse NPS’ decision. Neither congressman returned a request for comment.
News of the farm closure comes as controversy rages over the closure of the World War II memorial on the National Mall.
WWII veterans in Washington as part of the Honor Flight Network stormed the memorial on Tuesday, defying NPS, which insisted that the memorial was legally closed.
More Honor Flight veterans showed up on Wednesday, flanked by members of Congress from both parties. Republican members blamed Democrats for the memorial’s closure, and vice versa.
Some speculated that the decision to close the memorial was part of a concerted effort by the administration to play up the consequences of the shutdown in an effort to convince congressional Republicans to agree to a funding bill without preconditions.
That tactic is known as the Washington Monument Strategy, in reference to efforts by Nixon administration officials to inflate the consequences of budget cuts at the time.
The King is unhappy and ain't no one gonna be happy again until the King has a smile again. I think that's the new reality. If Obama isn't a happy little camper? The nation will suffer for it.
We elected a 2yr old in a man's body. Tantrums and logic that just brings brain freeze sometimes.
As part of the so-called “government shutdown” (which actually has not shut down most of the government — 80 percent of federal workers are still working), the Obama administration is shutting down tourist attractions even when doing so costs the government more money than leaving them open.
The government rented costly barricades to keep people out of open-air outdoor monuments that don’t need to be manned, and are typically open even when unstaffed (like the World War II Memorial). And it has sent Park Police to drive people out of privately-run tourist attractions on public land, like the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, endangering tourism-related jobs in the process.
The federal government’s barricading and forced closure of private-funded and operated Claude Moore Colonial Farm is not saving the government a penny, notes PJ Media’s Bryan Preston. He quotes from an email sent by the Farm’s Managing Director, Anna Eberly:
“For the first time in 40 years, the National Park Service (NPS) has finally succeeded in closing the Farm down to the public. In previous budget dramas, the Farm has always been exempted since the NPS provides no staff or resources to operate the Farm.”
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm, Eberly says, has thrived even as the federal government has treated it with “benign neglect” for decades. That benign neglect would serve it better than the barricades now surrounding it.
Eberly writes that the NPS has already gone out of its way to disrupt an event at the farm: “The first casualty of this arbitrary action was the McLean Chamber of Commerce who were having a large annual event at the Pavilion on Tuesday evening. The NPS sent the Park Police over to remove the Pavilion’s staff and Chamber volunteers from the property while they were trying to set up for their event. Fortunately, the Chamber has friends and they were able to move to another location and salvage what was left of their party. You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them any money.”
reply to post by IAMTAT
Welcome to Chicago, Boys!! Now pay your "Protection" fees !!!
Our entire existence has become nothing more than a never ending episode of Jerry Springer.
I really hate these immature DC &%^$%#^ we have in all of the offices, but there is something I find mildly entertaining about the pretty much the entire country slowly turning against them.
Legislative and Executive Branches...
They have Ethics that would raise eyebrows in the Court of Caligula...
I think the American people should take up a collection so we can buy a small island in the Pacific ocean. We can then move Congress / President / Supreme Court to that Island. Then we can form a new government..
The old government will be treated like the family member who created his own business who has since ran it into the ground. The kids take over and that relative still comes into work, however what he does doesn't affect the company.. He just gets the illusion that it does and we all move on with life.