Hikers and boaters continue to be shut out by the shutdown


Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Hikers and boaters continue to be shut out by the shutdown

By Stacey Gualandi. CREATED Oct 6, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- On land and on the water, hikers and boaters are being shut out. The government shutdown equals a Valley shutdown. Both Lake Mead and Red Rock Canyon are closed to the public.

Several locals went to hike the trails on Saturday but weren't allowed.   

Local hiker Diana Louise says she comes to hike and bike the Red Rock loop three times a week, but says now, "I feel like they've shut down Diana."

Every entrance to this government-run, national conservation area is locked and gated.

Another local hiker, Danielle Gross, said, "I tried to go to Red Rock and access the trails but Rangers were not allowing anybody in so I had to find a different route."

Some people with out of town guests ignored the signs and hiked the trails anyway.

"I think it’s a little inappropriate. People should be able to hike whenever they want to," said another hiker. 

Lake Mead sees half a million visitors a month, including Darren O'Donnell. He just bought a boat but its stuck in storage, so no birthday party on Lake Mead this weekend.

"I had my daughter in from out-of-town, but now it's canceled.  I've got a lot of disappointed college students now," said O'Donnell.

Many people being denied their right to enjoy the outdoors are finding ways to protest the government shutdown.

Stuart Litjens and fellow boat owners will be towing their boats down the strip Sunday, to protest the government’s decision to close Lake Mead.  

He said this is the best time of year to visit the lake; it's the perfect conditions, so this is all so unfortunate.  

Not only are they off the water, his company Boulder Boats is losing business, so he hopes this will send a message to Congress to end this shutdown.  

The boat protesters said tax dollars, permits and registration fees should be enough to keep the lake running, so they’ll be out with their boats on the Las Vegas Strip between Tropicana and Sahara at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Stacey Gualandi

Stacey Gualandi

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Stacey Gualandi joined the Action News team as a general assignment reporter in July 2013.