Federal Shutdown Would Close Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Yosemite

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Half Dome

Half Dome in Yosemite National Park (Phillip A. Russell)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS/AP) – Campers at Yosemite National Park would be escorted out of the park and the gates to several popular Bay Area attractions would be locked if Congress does not reach an agreement to prevent a federal government shutdown.

Yosemite has not stopped accepting reservations for a typically packed spring break, but park officials advise visitors they will have to leave on Saturday morning if the federal government closes.

Several of the Bay Area’s 11 national park sites such as Crissy Field would stay open just because they are logistically difficult to close off, but some major tourist sites would be off limits.

“Places like Alcatraz and Muir Woods where there is a gate and you can close it are different. We will be required to close and secure our facilities and the national park land,” said Alexandra Picavet, spokeswoman for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

More than 1.3 million visitors take the ferry to Alcatraz Island every year. Yosemite saw 33,000 visitors last April.

In April, about 800,000 people visit national park sites across the country each day and local economies get a boost from $32 million a day in visitor spending, federal officials said.

A closure could set preparations back for the busy summer season. About 300 miles of road in Yosemite are being plowed while hotels, stores and park facilities have to be opened, and water and sewer systems have to be readied.

If Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on a budget, the government could shut down on Friday.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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