"It's certainly a challenge, and we're taking it day by day". "I'll be out here everyday".
The shutdown happened on Friday when Democrats refused to vote for a GOP budget bill that kept the government funded.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Congress could not agree Friday night in Washington, D.C. on a government spending measure, prompting the shutdown. The park will provide limited emergency services.
Mike Litterst, spokesman for the National Park Service, told WTOP the shutdown would not effect any marches or events already scheduled, including Saturday's Women's March at the Lincoln Memorial. And therein lies the agenda of the Trump Administration, which has largely suspended or ignored such citizen panels, relying on allies such as Zinke and his supporters to make decisions instead - without engaging the public and other stakeholders.
The last time the federal government shut down for more than two weeks in October 2013, popular destinations in the Mother Lode like Yosemite National Park and New Melones Reservoir were shuttered, and the economies of towns that feed off the tourism they generate grinded to a halt. "All BLM facilities on public lands however will be closed".
On Sunday, Zinke handed out maps and greeted visitors at the Washington Monument and Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
"I spent the morning walking around, giving brochures out", Zinke said.
Will I get my mail? No visitor services will be available. "But to the degree possible, we will keep our public lands open". (They then quickly withdrew Florida for political reasons, but still.) There are many, many reasons to oppose oil drilling in the waters around our country, but here's a really practical one: There's barely any oil in large swaths of these areas.
The vendors, visitors and gateway communities to our national parks suffered enormously during the government shutdown in 2013 because of deliberate actions by the Obama administration. Its public statements on its plans are unclear and officials from California parks did not release more details on Thursday about whether they'd be able to open their gates.
"Keeping parks open with virtually no staff is a risky situation, and the guidance park staff is being given is vague at best".
The advisory board - which was created by Congress in 1935 during Franklin Roosevelt's administration - has long played a key role in such areas as designating historic and natural landmarks, oversight of national parks, education, conservation and, more recently, climate change. Each park, monument, recreation area, etc will have different plans in place.
This is not to say the funds the administration seeks to obtain for the $11.3 billion national parks fix backlog are not sorely needed.
On a more serious note, if people are let loose in parks with shuttered visitors centers and no rangers, what if someone gets lost?
Zinke also had scathing words for the Democrats' role in provoking a government shutdown.
In the meantime, board members said they never received a response from Zinke after several attempts at outreach.
Cox of AFGE said a near shutdown in 2014 and repeated congressional brinkmanship over debt limits during the Obama administration may be leading people to assume that the government will stay open next week.
"We are going to manage the shutdown differently".