JACKSON CO., Ala. (WHNT) — Because of the Government shutdown workers at the Little River Canyon National Preserve are either out of a job, or soon out of paycheck.
The roads leading to the entrance of the national preserve are quiet. An orange barricade is a bright message to would-be visitors letting them know it’s closed. A white sign has a few words on it, but its message is clear: the park is closed because of the shutdown, until further notice.
The Little River Canyon National Preserve is empty of visitors and employees.
Most employees, anyway. Gail Bishop is the Superintendent of the preserve and the Russell Cave National Monument. She was left on, while many employees were furloughed.
Soon though, she says those furloughed employees and the workers still on the job like herself will be in the same situation. “Even the ones working aren’t assured of a paycheck. We’re just working right now because we’re doing the things we need to to make sure this place is safe and secure,” Bishop says.
She says they should be getting paid in the next few days, and that’s it. “We have one paycheck left and that’s it until Congress approves an appropriation to pay us,” Bishop says.
She says even though they won’t be getting paid until further notice, they’ll still be on the job. Bishop says the shutdown has affected every single one of the workers there, whether they are working or at home. “It’s just a kind of trickle down situation where people have a lot of bills they need to pay,” she says.
While the parks are closed, the Little River Canyon Center is open and will be hosting events in the next few days.