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The federal government shutdown and winter weather have forced the closure of all roads connecting Cooke City to the rest of the world and turned the gateway town into a literal tourist trap. Snowstorms have caused the National Park Service to keep the Beartooth Pass closed since Sept. 24, said Al Nash, Yellowstone National Park spokesman. The most recent storm dropped between 10 and 14 inches of snow, preventing road travel to the Chief Joseph Highway, which can be used as an alternate route out of Cooke City. And Yellowstone closed Tuesday because of a congressional budget impasse that caused the federal government to shut down. Locals can travel through along the still-plowed roads of the park to Gardiner with special stickers they apply for from the park. Tourists, however, are unable to traverse the stretch, barring a medical emergency. “We're trapped,” said Bill Anderson, of Wichita, Kan., one of about 15 tourists in Cooke City. “It's nuts.”
If the park and it's services are shutdown, how can someone apply?