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Federal shutdown could close some US parks

Apr 7, 2011 7:30:00 AM - thestate.com
The looming shutdown of the federal government includes the National Parks Service, which could mean festivities commemorating the start of the Civil War with the attack on Fort Sumter could happen without Fort Sumter.

A shutdown would also affect trips to the nation's capital, where the Smithsonian and the National Zoo would be among the first to close, and could cause spring break campers out West to find Yosemite and other parks closed.

If lawmakers can't reach agreement, the National Park Service ceases operations at midnight Friday, shuttering Fort Sumter in the middle of Charleston Harbor in South Carolina just days before events marking the 150th anniversary of the first shots of the war.

"It's a very special event and it would be very sad if something like that happened," said Chris Kimmel of Harrisburg, Pa., who visited the fort Wednesday as a chaperone with a group of high school students from another town tied to the war, Gettysburg, Pa.

Events for the anniversary have been planned for years. Hundreds of Union and Confederate re-enactors plan to stay in Forts Sumter and Moultrie, another Park Service site across the harbor, during a week of events.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)