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What will it take to reopen the Cuyahoga Valley National Park?
Barricades will come down first, railroad trips will have to await an inspection

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Restarting the Cuyahoga Valley National Park will take some extra inspections.
Courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
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In The Region:

Among those anxiously awaiting official word that the federal government’s partial shutdown is over is Chris Ryan. He’s the chief ranger at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and he’s been the one in charge of delivering a message many didn’t want to hear for the last two weeks: Keep out. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on what it will take to reopen the park.

LISTEN: Prepping to reopen the Cuyahoga Valley

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As soon as Chris Ryan gets the call from the Midwest regional office of the National Parks Service, he’ll be making calls of his own to the division chiefs at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, who will call employees.

We plan on reopening the park as soon as the shutdown is over. What that is going to involve is removing the barricades, fencing, closed signs so that we can reopen the trails, particularly the Towpath trail, which is very popular this time of year. When the interpretive staff comes on board, then they will open up the visitors’ centers.

 But some things will take more time and work.

“The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad will be resuming operations, and they are going to conduct an inspection of the tracks before the first excursion heads down the line.“

The inspections are expected to take two-to-four hours and will all be done by Federal Railroad Administration certified employees.

Ryan lived through the last government shutdown, when he was working at Rocky Mountain National Park. This one was different

“Unfortunately this shut down occurred during the time of year when we have spectacular fall colors. I don’t think any time is a good time for this to happen.  But I guess I was surprised that there were so many people that violated the closures. The trails were closed for a specific purpose so that we can make sure have regular patrols and if people are getting hurt, we’re there to help them. “

The 33,000 acres Cuyahoga Valley National Park was one of more than 400 national parks and museums closed by the shut down. Another one in Northeast Ohio is the First Ladies library in Canton. 

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