Government Shutdown Threat 'Nervewracking,' Says National Park Head
The Fridley resident has been through it before.
Paul Labowitz remembers the last federal government shutdown in 1995–96. The Fridley resident was a National Park Service (NPS) employee—"but I wasn't a superintendent then."
Labowitz still works for the NPS, but now he is in charge of a National park: the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA).
MNRRA is unlike other national parks that have park gates to lock, but Labowitz said a shutdown would still have an immediate impact. MNRRA's St. Paul visitor's center would close and Labowitz's staff would cancel their participation in weekend programs. He has 25 permanent employees and more that are hired seasonally. None will work past midnight Friday if the federal government shuts down.
It makes them "nervous," Labowitz said. "My colleagues all have bills to pay." There is an official NPS communication chain, he said, but he and his staff will be watching the news like everyone else Friday night.