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Shutdown would affect Theodore Roosevelt National Park

MEDORA -- Theodore Roosevelt National Park will be one of 401 national parks required to close today in the event of a government shutdown.

The park's 30 permanent employees are expected to report to work today, but most would be sent home after four hours if the government shuts down, said Meg Schwartz, acting superintendent for Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The visitor centers at the North Unit, South Unit and Painted Canyon will be closed. Campers will be given 48 hours to leave, Schwartz said.

Two employees will continue to work at each of the units to maintain water quality, security of buildings and other health and safety issues, Schwartz said.

Nationally, the shutdown is estimated to affect as many as 715,000 potential visitors a day and cost communities surrounding the parks more than $76 million each day in lost visitor spending, said Mike Litterst, chief spokesman for the National Park Service.

National Wildlife Refuges operated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also will be closed to public access.