White Mountain Leaf-Peepers Distraught as Campsites Close over Shutdown
A handful of privately-run campgrounds in New Hampshire have been closed by the National Park Service thanks to the government shutdown. The White Mountains National Forest, which hosts a bevy of tourists each year around Columbus Day, has been closed to those tourists; 21 campgrounds and hundreds of campsites will go unoccupied during the region’s beautiful autumn holiday, which features peak season for so-called “leaf peeping.” This is the state’s third biggest tourism weekend. According to the Associated Press, “Last year, some 600,000 people visited over the weekend, pumping nearly $90 million into the economy.”
The facilities to be closed include privately-funded ones, which will lose tens of thousands of dollars. Kent Tower of Pro Sport Inc. says he will lose $50,000 if the shutdown stays in effect. Approximately 165 state and private campgrounds will remain open because they do not have contracts with the federal government.
US Forest Service spokesman Leo Kay said that rangers provide support to the sites, and so the shutdown must touch them.