Government Shutdown Poses Threat To Beaver Lake Campgrounds

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As the deadline for a possible government shutdown looms some federal agencies in Northwest Arkansas are scrambling to come up with a plan.

All 401 National Park Service sites will be closed if the government shuts down.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees were in meetings all day Monday (Sept. 30) talking about what could happen if congress can’t agree on a spending plan.

“It’s just up in the air right now, we will see what happens in the next 8, 9, 10 hours, but hopefully we will be here tomorrow business as usual, campgrounds will be open, it`s exactly what we want to do,” said Park Ranger, Alan Bland.

Bland said campers could be told to pack up and move to a new location.

“If it happened and we decided that we would have to close the campground, obviously the campers would have to find another campsite somewhere else around the lake and there`s a lot of private campsites around the lake,” said Bland.

The Fort Smith National Historic Site also in jeopardy.  Park officials said if an agreement is not met they would have to shut down their website, close the park and it visitor’s center. More than 20 park employees would be sent home.

Pea Ridge National Military Park Employees were told to report to work Tuesday morning, if the government does shut down they will be given their furlough papers and given four hours to gather their belongings and vacate the premises.

As for changes people might see in their daily lives, Aaron Randall with the Economic Opportunity Agency of Washington County said some won’t see much of a difference.

“People that we see rely on things like food stamps, social security, Medicaid, Medicare and none of those services are going to be interrupted on a large level, there might be some micro parts that are but structurally they are going to stay the same through a government shutdown,” said Randall.

The spending bill deadline is the same time the affordable health care act launches.

“I think there is a public perception that it will, Obama Care won't be affected at all come midnight tonight, the market place will be online, ready to go and people can sign up as they would normally no matter what the government decides to do in this situation,” added Randall.

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