While the federal government shut down continues, there are some options for getting outdoors.
The national forests in the region and the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument lands remain open. None of the facilities, however, will be open.
That means people can drive along the road networks in the Gifford Pinchot, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie and Olympic national forests, or climb Mount St. Helens. Just don’t expect campgrounds to be open or visitor centers like Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens.
For people who have permits to climb the volcano, they should contact the Mount St. Helens Institute for more information. Climbers can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check the website at www.mshinstitute.org for updates on climbing conditions.
People traveling on forest roads are urged to be careful in light of the recent heavy rains. Because forest employees are on furlough, there is no one checking road conditions and federal websites, Facebook and Twitter accounts are shut down. Drives should slow down and be cautious, and look carefully around the next corner for any debris on the road or possible washouts.