LAKE MEAD -
In spite of the government shutdown, folks are nevertheless entering Lake Mead National Recreation Location.
Rangers have so far provided out about 500 verbal warnings and a dozen citations.
There is no shortage of indicators, barriers and cones keeping people from the park, but they haven’t stopped those bent on fishing, hiking and biking there.
Disappointed and frustrated, Tennessee guests Tom and Lynne Bulle turned around at the front entrance of the park Tuesday upon realizing it is shut down.
Even though Tom Bulle followed the guidelines, he stated he doesn’t blame these who don’t.
“This is our nation. This is home that we as citizens own,” he said.
“We are seeing an up-tick in people who know the park is closed, and it really is a stunning time of year, and they nevertheless want to come out,” said park spokeswoman Christie Vanover.
While 1st-time offenders have received verbal warnings from rangers, repeat offenders have been slapped with $ 125 tickets for trespassing. That includes two fishermen who took the time to hide their truck and trailer but still got caught.
“It is not that we don’t want to allow folks in the park. It’s contrary to what we typically do. We like to invite men and women out to Lake Mead to appreciate this time of year, but regrettably, until Congress passes the authorizations and appropriations to open the park, it remains closed,” Vanover stated.
The park normally hosts 15,000 guests a day. With 75 percent of the staff furloughed, the park poses a great deal of danger to trespassers.
Repeat offenders could face a maximum of six months in jail and a $ five,000 fine.