Angry Tourists Evicted From Shutdown Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is closed, and will be emptied by today.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Tourists are being asked to leave Yosemite National Park, closed due to the government shutdown.

    El Capitan and Half Dome are closed.

    The last occupants of Yosemite National Park will be given their walking papers Thursday, as the National Park Service is closing the internationally-famous area as part of the government shutdown.

    News of the closure -- and the information that they would have to leave -- was not well-received among the tourists at the park on Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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    A couple from Belgium -- where health care, the supposed reason behind the disagreement over the budget in Washington, is available free of charge to everyone -- found the shutdown "childish," according to reports.

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    Yosemite's 660 employees are being furloughed, leaving 160 with the task of shutting down the park.

    Other parks, such as Kings Canyon and Sequoia, are also closed.

    Campers will have until 3 p.m. Thursday to leave the park. That includes people like the bride and groom to be from Israel -- and five other couples who planned to tie the knot at the park, according to report.

    Yosemite's 123rd birthday was Tuesday.

    The park also closed during government shutdowns in November 1995 and January 1996.

    Yosemite's shutdown also trickles down to the small Groveland community -- one of the few gateway towns heading into the tourist attraction.

    The shutdown is the second blow to hit Groveland businesses, which are still trying to recover from the Rim Fire. The wildfire cost local businesses dollars from the two peak tourist months of August and September.

    Business owners said they have to make all their money in six months before the weather changes.

    Other Yosemite gateways like Mariposa and Oakhurst are also bracing for the shutdown effects.

    The Mariposa County Chamber of Commerce estimates the park closure will hurt 25 percent of area workers.

    During the 1995-1996 government shutdown, lodging dropped 80 percent in and around Yosemite. The drop in tourists turned into a loss of $300,000 a day, with hundreds of thousands more lost in the communities outside Yosemite, officials said.

    Groveland businesses are still trying to recover from the Rim Fire