North Country
3:42 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

As Tourists Flock, Fed Shut Down Would Leave White Mountain National Forest Struggling

Broadcast version
The benches aren't empty during high season in the White Mountain National Forest
Credit Walsh TD via Flickr Creative Commons

If the federal government shuts down at midnight it will affect the White Mountain National Forest at a time when many tourists are headed there for fall foliage.

The White Mountain National Forest covers about 800,000 acres and normally has about 120 full or part-time employees, says Tom Wagner, the forest supervisor.

If the federal government shuts down more than 100 of them will be off work.

“Sixteen of those employees between our law enforcement and our line officers at each office will continue to work if this is an extended shutdown," Wagner said.

Wagner says tourists can continue to visit the White Mountain National Forest.

But if the shut down lasts more than a few days it may be necessary to close facilities such as rest rooms for sanitary reasons.

It is estimated that every year about four million to five million people visit the White Mountain National Forest. Many of them come for the fall foliage.