National Parks Open for Business - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

National Parks Open for Business

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KISATCHIE NATIONAL FOREST, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Two days after the end of the government shutdown, national parks and forests are back open and welcoming visitors.

It's back to business as usual at the Oakland Plantation.

"Feels wonderful, we are ready for visitors, Don and I were flipping for who's going to get the first tour since we got back," said Jean Carter.

As well as the Kisatchie National Forest.

"Our recreation areas, our fee areas, the forest is definitely open again and we want people to come out and enjoy it," said Michael Dawson.

These national parks and forests were off limits during the Government Shutdown.

"It really hurts me that the visitors weren't able to enjoy these beautiful places during that time," said Laura Gates.

Don Curtis and his wife live on the Oakland Plantation and volunteer as tour guides. Even though they aren't federal employees, the shutdown left them without a job to do.

"We would walk the grounds a couple times a day, and so would the park, otherwise we just did sightseeing," said Curtis.

Now that the gates are opened, Curtis says he's happy to be back where he belongs.

"I really enjoy doing this, and there's so much history here and it's an important part of this whole area, and this community," said Curtis. @

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