The National Park Service has ordered the closure of a Virginia park that sits on federal land, even though the government provides no resources for its maintenance or operation.
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm announced on Wednesday that NPS has ordered it to suspend operations until Congress agrees to a deal to fund the federal government.
According to Anna Eberly, managing director of the farm, NPS sent law enforcement agents to the park on Tuesday evening to remove staff and volunteers from the property.
“You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them any money,” she said.
The park withstood prior government shutdowns, noting in a news release that the farm will be closed to the public for the first time in 40 years.
“In previous budget dramas, the Farm has always been exempted since the NPS provides no staff or resources to operate the Farm,” Eberly explained in an emailed statement.
“In all the years I have worked with the National Park Service … I have never worked with a more arrogant, arbitrary and vindictive group representing the NPS,” Eberly said.
The farm is an historical reenactment site, which “authentically portrays the life of an 18th Century American family building a life on the nearer edges of civilized society,” according to its website.
Farm staff repeatedly asked the NPS to allow the farm to remain open. “Every appeal our Board of Directors made to the NPS administration was denied,” Eberly said.
She called the decision “utter crap.”
Some speculated that the decision to close the memorial was part of a concerted effort by the administration to play up the consequences of the shutdown in an effort to convince congressional Republicans to agree to a funding bill without preconditions.
This is sad. All you guys approve of the government shut down. It gets shut down and you complain about the loss of services.
I don't expect anyone to announce that it's politically motivated, but there's not much room for doubt here.