Gov’t Shutdown and Volunteer work

Spooky Beaver Crewmates:  I haven’t seen anything official from Prince William Forest Park staff yet, but based on what has been shared from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to PATC (see below) and past PWFP practices during a Federal Government shutdown, we cannot do any volunteer work in the park until this latest episode of the Federal Government shutdown has ended.

So while the park will likely be open to vehicle and foot traffic, we cannot do trail work in the park until further notice – period.   During the shutdown, we are not covered by the Volunteers in the Park program, so no insurance coverage. 

I’ll send out another missive when the situation changes. 

On another note, the historical vehicle bridge on Scenic Dr just before Parking Lot A is being rehabbed.  Per the park website, starting on sometime around January 7, 2019, there will be temporary detours to get into and out of the park.   See attached for a map of the location and where to enter and exit the park due to the detours expected Mondays through Fridays.  To enter the park, drive past the park entrance heading west on Joplin Rd (SR 619) like you are heading to Cabin Camp 2 or 5.  Turn right onto Liming Lane (look for the American Legion on the corner).  Drive down Liming Ln until you hit Scenic Dr, then turn left to continue into the park.  To exit the park, drive to Parking Lot G and turn down Mawavi Rd and follow it past Cabin Camp 2 until you reach Joplin Rd. 

You can also access the park by parking at the Pinegrove Picnic area parking lot and hiking into the park via Orenda Rd or Laurel Loop Tr.

Warning – Liming Ln and Mawavi Rd are gravel fire roads with a posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour.  The LE rangers will be closely monitoring these roads, so please do not speed and watch out for hikers and bikers. 

See https://www.nps.gov/prwi/bridge.htm for more info.   I’ll let you know if the detour timing is changed due to the shutdown. 

Take care,

Mark Ellis
District Manager
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
Prince William Forest Park

From: John Stacy <john.e.stacy@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, December 21, 2018 8:24 PM
To: John Stacy <john.e.stacy@gmail.com

Hello DM’s and crew leads,

Could you please pass the word?  

Given the likely government shutdown, we are forbidden to work on the AT and its side trails. Formal notice should come out tomorrow.  The most likely thing is that the same prohibition on volunteer work will apply to all National Park and National Forest units.  It would not apply to other PATC-maintained trails on private lands, regional parks, or state lands.  We should hear something more official as things progress.  

The AT will still be accessible but without visitor services.  Hopefully, the same will apply to National Parks and Forests but there is no word yet.  

Below is a note from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Volunteer Relations program director.

Thank you.  We’ll send out more as received..  

John Stacy
Supervisor of Trails
PATC

Subject: Advance Notice of Potential Government Shutdown

A.T. Volunteers, 

As many of you are likely aware, there is a threat of a government shutdown, or lapse in appropriations, beginning at 12:01 a.m. December 22, 2018. We hope this threat does not become a reality, but want to alert all volunteers and clubs to the possibility.

Acting Chief Ranger Farley will be sending out the official notice on Saturday morning on behalf of the Superintendent if the shutdown occurs. We ask that all A.T. clubs and volunteers be attentive to procedures in the event of a government shutdown.

If a shutdown occurs, by law, all of our ATC Trail crews and seasonal staff, and A.T. volunteers are directed to cease work on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and its side trails. The NPS Volunteers in the Parks program (on NPS and some state lands) is suspended. The Volunteers in the Forests program is also suspended. Without these insurance programs in place, an accident exposes A.T. workers, their clubs, and ATC to tort claims and medical costs.  This suspension of work is necessary during a lapse in appropriations to ensure the safety and protection of all volunteers.

In the event of a lapse in appropriations tomorrow, units of the National Park Service (including the Appalachian National Scenic Trail – ANST) will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures.  The ANST will remain accessible to visitors, but no visitor services, maintenance, or other management activities will be conducted, and emergency and rescue services will be limited.  

Thank you for your patience as we navigate these uncertain times and thank you for all you do for the A.T.! 

Leanna Joyner
Program Director, Volunteer Relations
Appalachian Trail Conservancy

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