The people who shut the national parks try to investigate the Park Service

A case of the guilty investigating the effects of their crime?

When the House Republicans shut down the “non-essential” services of the U.S. government by failing to pass neither a budget, nor a continuing resolution by Oct. 1, the national parks closed. They had no money to operate.

During the shutdown process, the Service evacuated the Parks, and put up barriers at common entry points to protect the resources for which the national parks, monuments, battlefields, etc. were created.

Ever since then the Republicans, stung by public outrage at the closures, have tried to deflect any hurt feelings of tourists onto the Park Service rather than onto they who created the need for a rapid shutdown.

The House Government Oversight Committee, chaired by tea partier Chairman Darrell Issa, is held a hearing on alleged Park Service abuses. The article below in the conservative magazine of opinion, The National Review, tells the Republican version of what they think were some of the major abuses.

It is doubtful they will hold hearings on how their shutdown harmed the gateway communities and the people who bring tourists to the Parks to see wildlife and world famous scenery.

Congressman Issa is well known for holding hearings on what House Republicans believe are great scandals of our time such as Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS investigation of tea party non-profit applications, and now it seems on the 40 or so foreign tourists who were limited (by “armed Park employees”) to a Yellowstone Park Hotel (probably Mammoth Hot Springs) for 2 days until they could all be evacuated, removed, or as the NR says “kicked out” without so much as an extra rest room break before the Park boundary. They don’t say that this was probably Gardiner five miles away.

Grilling the Park Service Bullies.
The House Oversight Committee wants to find out why the Park Service behaved so bizarrely. By John Fund. National Review.

The committe chair in a House committee sets the agenda and dominates the hearings, allowing the minority party a few concessions should they choose to attend.



  1. john Avatar

    why not give this a break,,, as we have seen in the past, neither the president or his minions will not cooperate with any investigations, whether it be bengazi, irs, journalist wire tapping, obamacare rollout disaster, or any other of the low down crud he espouses,,, istn it enough its now open,,,, or how about something like the bighorn are beginning to rut in gardiner,, wouldn’t that be a more exciting topic,

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan


      You are right in that there will be no cooperation on this other than the minimum necessary.

      It’s really about “public optics” as they say.

      Yes, there is news of a more conventional sort.

  2. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    That’s what I’m concerned about – why so much focus by the Republicans on the National Parks? At first I was angry, now I’m getting a little frightened.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    It turns out the committee already held the hearing. The Washington Post has an editorial on it, condemning the Republicans.

    “Why did national parks close? Ask the Republicans”.

  4. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue


    “It is doubtful they will hold hearings on how their shutdown harmed the gateway communities and the people who bring tourists to the Parks to see wildlife and world famous scenery.”


  5. ramses09 Avatar

    We need to have a hearing on Issa, he is a THUG.

  6. snaildarter Avatar


  7. Wolfy Avatar

    Wow, the apocalyptic rhetoric never ends. I saw references in the article to “blitzkrieg” and “horror stories” Some of the comments on the article in the National Review webpage took it even further to compare the National Park police to Nazis and the Gestapo. So a few tourists got inconvenienced by the park closures; It’s not like the government tried to deny health care coverage to millions of people and grind the economy to a screeching halt… No, wait, that IS exactly what they tried to do. Funny that congress doesn’t see this as a horror story or a Tea Bag blitzkrieg on the American public and our parks.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan