Unclear how SA Missions would be affected in possible government shutdown

NPS: 'National parks will remain as accessible as possible'

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Hours before a possible federal government shutdown could furlough many government workers and slow down or stop some services, it's still unclear how the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park will be affected.

The four, federally operated mission sites were closed during the 2013 shutdown. However, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told the media during a Friday briefing that national parks would remain open.

When asked specifically about the Missions, a National Park Service spokesman told KSAT:

"We fully expect the government to remain open, however in the event of a shutdown, national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures. Parks are working on their individual shutdown plans but we do not yet have details of their plans."

"It doesn't really tell me anything," Rosebud Coffey, executive director of Mission Heritage Partners, said of the comment. "Truly, it's vague."

Mission Heritage Partners is a nonprofit supporting the missions. Coffey said she does not know what's going to happen this time around. Her group talks with local NPS personnel, she said, who are also watching and waiting.

"We're all waiting, hoping that they don't shut down, but you know, we're really not going to know anything something happens or doesn't happen later this evening," Coffey said.

Meanwhile, the president of the Professional Tour Guide Assoc. of San Antonio, Steve Wood, has concerns over what could happen if missions do shut down for an extended period.

"Where people who now are planning their trips for the spring, are they going to say, 'Well, maybe the missions are closed. Maybe we'll go somewhere else,'" Wood said.

Whether or not the missions are closed, the churches on the mission grounds will continue their normal services.

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