Government Law

'Puffed up and angry' park ranger tickets tourists for hiking on federal land during budget shutdown

Two tourists from California say they didn’t think they were violating any major rule by taking a hike in a national park in Nevada on Saturday, despite the federal budget shutdown.

But they wound up with tickets that could cost them up to $275 apiece, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Gina Borchers, 55, admittedly encouraged her sister, Donna Kanehl, 53, to ignore signs and duck under a locked gate at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. But the San Clemente, Calif., municipal worker says she thought their main import was to alert tourists that the visitor’s center and road were closed, not to keep individuals out of the entire park.

Although she says she and her sister were “very, very apologetic” when caught on the property by a Bureau of Land Management ranger, he ticketed the two women for creating a nuisance.

It appears that the feds may have been issuing warnings rather than tickets to many of those who have violated a national ban on using the parks during the budget shutdown, according to the newspaper, and Borchers feels badly treated.

“The ranger had many responses to choose from and with us; he decided to choose a particularly harsh one,” she says. “He was all puffed up and angry.”

Related coverage: “ABA President Silkenat condemns shutdown, says Congress should ‘end the scorched-earth tactics’”

CBS News: “Government shutdown hitting veterans, military families hard”

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