ESTES PARK • Again the phone rings in the Fall River Visitor Center. Again Lynn Stepaniak answers, as she has throughout the federal government’s longest shutdown ever.The caller wants to know: Is Rocky Mountain National Park open? What is there to do?”Well, the roads are closed,” Stepaniak says in a voice as sweet and reassuring as it can be on this 20th day of the shutdown, poised to enter its fourth week as President Donald Trump and Congress remain at odds over funding a border wall.Stepaniak is among volunteers with Rocky Mountain Conservancy, the nonprofit that isn’t usually running this privately owned visitor center in winter. But with the park’s other outposts dark and shuttered, with 149 rangers and staffers furloughed among about 800,000 other federal employees across the country, there had to be a source of information somewhere, the conservancy figured. Someone had to step up. Premium Wildfire preparedness in Colorado hurt by government shutdown Liz Forster So Stepaniak is here taking calls.”One guy called this morning from North Dakota,” she says. “He wanted to bring a bunch of kids out here and wondered where they can go.”They could trek the unplowed roads past the unmanned pay stations, past… Read full this story
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