Tourists vanish. Across the nation, national parks welcome an estimated 750,000 tourists a day. And in Yosemite, tourists coming from around the world to witness Half Dome and El Capitan must first pass through gateway communities like Mariposa, Oakhurst, Mammoth, and Sonora, to name a few. These small towns, according to the National Parks Conservation Association, require a steady flow of tourists, which fuel 5,700 private-sector jobs and generate a $360-million-a-year industry. On any given day, the park hosts 15,000 tourists, and October is one of Yosemite's most popular months for weddings. A stoppage in tourist flow could be catastrophic to small businesses.
Many of these small communities have already seen reduced numbers of tourists due to the Rim Fire that decimated the nearby Stanislaus Forest. The shuttering of Yosemite only compounds the financial and economic problems faced by these small towns — and other towns across the country that depend on tourists traveling to National Parks.
Oil drilling continues. Parks across the country may be closed to backpackers, climbers, sight-seers, and naturalists, but according to Climate Progress, oil and gas drilling will continue on public land, unchanged and — now that the EPA is vastly reduced — unchecked. Over ninety percent of the EPA's 16,204 employees will be furloughed as a result of the shutdown, severely limiting the scope of the agency's protection power.