An unnamed Park Service official told the Washington Times, that NPS personnel had been instructed to “make life as difficult for people as we can.”
We have seen that directive being played out all across the country by NPS employees who are willing to do the Regime’s dirty work – punishing ordinary, law abiding Americans, treating helpless seniors on vacation like criminals – just to score political points for Obama. Very unsettling implications, here.
Via Eagle Tribune:
Pat Vaillancourt went on a trip last week that was intended to showcase some of America’s greatest treasures.
Instead, the Salisbury resident said she and others on her tour bus witnessed an ugly spectacle that made her embarrassed, angry and heartbroken for her country.
Vaillancourt was one of thousands of people who found themselves in a national park as the federal government shutdown went into effect on Oct. 1. For many hours her tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard.
The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest.
When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.
“We’ve become a country of fear, guns and control,” said Vaillancourt, who grew up in Lawrence. “It was like they brought out the armed forces. Nobody was saying, ‘we’re sorry,’ it was all like — ” as she clenched her fist and banged it against her forearm.
Vaillancourt took part in a nine-day tour of western parks and sites along with about four dozen senior citizen tourists. One of the highlights of the tour was to be Yellowstone, where they arrived just as the shutdown went into effect.
Rangers systematically sent visitors out of the park, though some groups that had hotel reservations — such as Vaillancourt’s — were allowed to stay for two days. Those two days started out on a sour note, she said.
The bus stopped along a road when a large herd of bison passed nearby, and seniors filed out to take photos. Almost immediately, an armed ranger came by and ordered them to get back in, saying they couldn’t “recreate.” The tour guide, who had paid a $300 fee the day before to bring the group into the park, argued that the seniors weren’t “recreating,” just taking photos.
“She responded and said, ‘Sir, you are recreating,’ and her tone became very aggressive,” Vaillancourt said.
The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park’s premier lodge located adjacent to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.
No “recreating”? Seriously?
It’s too made they were American citizens. If they were illegal immigrants holding a rally, they would have been welcomed with open arms.
NPS denied the tourists an opportunity to stop a a full service restroom during their 2.5 hour journey out of Yellowstone? “Make life as difficult for people as we can.”
The tour guide accused NPS of using “Gestapo tactics” in the local paper. “The national parks belong to the people,” he told the Enterprise. “This isn’t right.”
As I reported at Breitbart over the weekend, the Department of Interior Website has a page that links to all of its departments’ contingency plans in case of a government shutdown. The National Park Service Contingency Plan is basically the template for all of these daily outrages we’ve been seeing since the shutdown began…
As stated in its original authorizing legislation, the National Park Service mission is to “preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.”
Effective immediately upon a lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service will take all necessary steps to close and secure national park facilities and grounds in order to suspend all activities except for those that are essential to respond to emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.
Day use visitors will be instructed to leave the park immediately as part of Phase 1 closures. Visitors utilizing overnight concession accommodations and campgrounds will be notified to make alternate arrangements and depart the park as part of Phase 2.
Wherever possible, park roads will be closed and access will be denied. National and regional offices and support centers will be closed and secured, except where they are needed to support excepted personnel. These steps will be enacted as quickly as possible while still ensuring visitor and employee safety as well as the integrity of park resources.
The shutdown process will take place in two phases. Phase 1 includes all activities to notify the public of the closure, secure government records and property, and begin winding down operations to essential activities only. Phase 1 will take place over a day and a half.
Phase 2 will be initiated by the Director and includes the complete shutdown of all concession facilities and commercial visitor services. Overnight visitors will be given two days to make alternate arrangements and depart the parks. At the end of Phase 2 operations are expected to be at the minimum levels defined below. The entire closure process – both phases – will be completed within four days.
You may be wondering how treating seniors at Yellowstone in such a shabby manner helped the National Park Service “preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.”
You might also wonder who wrote the NPS contingency plan, and who authorized it.
Obama made sure to mention Yellowstone by name in an address to the nation on the eve of the shutdown. He warned that the it would have a “very real economic impact, right away”.
“Vital services that seniors and veterans, women and children, businesses and our economy depend on will be hamstrung.”Tourists will find every one of our national parks and monuments … immediately closed and of course the communities and small businesses that rely on these national treasures for their livelihoods will be out of customers and out of luck.”New York’s Statue of Liberty and the National Zoo in Washington, as well as Yellowstone and other national parks, are among the tourist attractions the shutdown will affect.