KALISPELL – After five weeks, the longest government shutdown in US history has ended.
Glacier National Park employees started the day off with a meeting regarding what to prioritize now that the park was open. Public Information Officer Lauren Alley tells us that the winter months are the park’s slowest months for visitation when the park gets around ten thousand visitors, instead of the millions it usually gets in the summer.
During the shutdown, food banks stepped up to help those employees struggling to provide food for themselves and their families.
Alley tells us a group of park employees saw this 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 tells us that reports were made of drone activity and off-leash dog-walking in the park. She wants to remind folks that off-leash dog-walking is not permitted and pets are not allowed on trails as it disturbs the wildlife in the park.
Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News