While stories abound regarding the arbitrary closures associated with the current federal government shutdown, at least the monuments, parks, and services interrupted receive some level of funding from D.C. The closure of Claude Moore Colonial Farm, however, noticeably defies that standard.
The park’s managing director, Anna Eberly, reported that she got notice from the National Parks Service that all visitors and staff must vacate the destination. This decision came despite the fact that the historic farm receives no federal funding.
Eberly pointed out the glaring idiocy of this decision, blasting the government for using “staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them money.”
She noted that this will mark the first time in 40 years the farm will not be open to the public.
In a response to the unbelievable order, Eberly noted that her property has not been targeted during previous shutdowns and congressional stalemates.
“In previous budget dramas, the farm has always been exempted since the NPS provides no staff or resources to operate the farm,” she explained. The current incarnation of the federal agency, she added, is the most “arrogant, arbitrary and vindictive group” she has ever encountered, noting that all attempts to appeal its decision were promptly dismissed.
The farm has thrived in the more than 30 years it has existed without federal funding, Eberly noted, thanks in large part to a half-million dollar private fund established in 1980. For that reason, she said, the farm is self-sufficient and more than capable of operating in the midst of a government shutdown.
“But there are barricades at the pavilions and entrance to the farm,” she explained.
It is becoming clear that, like virtually everything this administration does, decisions surrounding this shutdown are being made in large part based on political considerations. Whether forcibly keeping World War II veterans from visiting open-air monuments in Washington or shuttering a privately-funded park in Virginia, the federal government is once again making sure its policies will hurt as many ideological opponents as possible.
Earlier this year, as sequestration cuts were set to go into effect, a series of internal emails made that nefarious policy abundantly obvious.
–Western Journalism staff writer