Government Shut Down

PHOTO BY SHELBY WOLFE/Newport News-Times | Visitors are seen crossing over the gate closed to traffic at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area on Thursday, Dec. 27. Despite “no parking” signs, dozens of vehicles were parked at the turnaround.

The Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area gates have been closed at a time when holiday travelers and whale watchers seek out these kinds of scenic areas with prime views out to the gray whale migration. Due to the shutdown of the federal government, a sign at the entrance to the area, which is overseen by the Bureau of Land Management, warns that the head is closed to motorized traffic but open to visitors entering on foot, due to the shutdown of the federal government. The sign specifies an alternate parking area on Highway 101 for hikers, but warns that caution should be taken as staff is not on hand to address emergencies. All buildings were closed and restrooms locked at the natural area this week.

Cape Perpetua, on the other hand, will remain open through the government shutdown, according to lead field ranger Reba Ortiz.

“We are hoping to stay open seven days a week,” Ortiz said Thursday. “All the other offices are closed.”

At a time when everything from Yaquina Head in Yachats to the Siuslaw National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Corvallis is closed through the shutdown and many forest service employees were furloughed, Ortiz hopes no employees at Cape Perpetua are sent home.

“There’s none yet at Cape Perpetua,” Ortiz said after being asked if any employees there will be furloughed. 

— News-Times Staff

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