KALISPELL – After five weeks, the longest government shutdown in United States history has ended.
Glacier National Park employees started Monday with a meeting regarding what to prioritize now that the park is open.
Public Information Officer Lauren Alley said the winter months are the park’s slowest for visitation as about 10,000 people visit compared to the millions who usually come in the summer.
During the shutdown, food banks stepped up to help struggling employees.
Alley said a group of park employees saw the shutdown as an opportunity to give back to the community.
“Employees stepping up and organizing volunteer days for the local community, which, you know, as much as we hope we gave back to the community, it also gave a lot back to us,” Alley said. “It was really wonderful to see our coworkers and also feel useful and helpful for a lot of the organizations we were able to volunteer with.”
During the shutdown, Alley said reports were made of drone activity and off-leash dog-walking in the park.
She wants to remind visitors that off-leash dog-walking is not permitted and pets are not allowed on trails as it disturbs the wildlife in the park.
-Reported by Maren Siu/MTN News