Natchez National Historical Park properties closed during shutdown
Published 12:48 am Sunday, January 21, 2018
NATCHEZ — Several tourism destinations and parks closed Saturday after the effects of the federal government’s shutdown trickled down to Natchez.
Natchez National Historical Park Superintendent Kathleen Bond said Saturday that the shutdown led to the official closure of National Park Service offices.
Melrose and the William Johnson House will be closed to the public for the duration of the shutdown.
Facilities along the Natchez Trace Parkway, including restrooms, rest stops and visitors’ centers, will also close, though the road itself will remain open. National Park Rangers will continue to patrol the roadway.
Fort Rosalie, however, will remain open to the public, Bond said.
Bond said signage has been posted at the sites to inform prospective visitors about the situation.
Natchez National Historical Park has also made social media posts alerting people to the closures. The post warns that any decision to enter a National Park Service property is at the sole risk of the visitor.
Bond said the goal of the park service during this federal shutdown — just as during the shutdown of 2013 — is providing as much accessibility to the public as possible while dealing with the inability to use government funding for day-to-day operations.
“I hope that there is a very quick resolution of these issues so that we can once again greet visitors to our fabulous sites,” Bond said.
Some staff members, Bond said, would continue to monitor the park sites periodically throughout the shutdown.
The NPS offices on the second floor of the Natchez Visitor Center are closed, though the rest of the visitor center will remain open.