How do you close the outdoors?
“There’s just a little opening you just walk through that. There ‘s no difference,” said Lauren Fields, as she was walking her dog Oliver.
Does she feel guilty about taking that walk at Knight’s Ferry, a park that’s now technically closed?
Not at all.
Federal government shutdown or no, people aren’t canceling their plans to picnic, take pictures, and hike in federally managed parkland.
The Army Corps of Engineers runs Knight’s Ferry Park in Stanislaus County. They’ve put up signs saying the park is closed, and they’d shut the gate to the trailhead parking lot.
The overwhelming response to that this warm, Sunday evening had been: to park on the road.
It’s a strange situation for a guy like David Lukas. A naturalist and author, his life’s work is to introduce people to the wildlife of the Sierra Nevada.
These days, that’s not so easy.
“Three days this week that have already been canceled. Tried to line-up a back-up tour route on the east side if the Sierra Nevada, but it’s too late to do that,” Lukas said.
Still, he says at national parks throughout Northern California, people are disregarding closures, and going it on their own, just like they’re doing at Knight’s Ferry.
“No access to trails, no access to parking lots … and this is what you see everywhere,” he said.
What you won’t see is park rangers, telling people when they can come back here legally.