HARRISON, Ark. -- If Congress and President Barack Obama can't reach an agreement to keep funding the federal government by midnight Friday, the Buffalo National River and its adjoining federal property would officially be closed. The National Park Service operates the Buffalo River and its employees would be furloughed, and not available to patrol the river or rescue canoeists and hikers.
The head ranger for the Buffalo River says canoeists who were on the river at midnight officially would have 48 hours to get off the river. Because the NPS has about 130 official access points on the Buffalo, the ranger says it would be difficult to keep canoeists off the river if they wanted to defy the closure. Some of the access points have cables or gates that could be closed but others would be marked with closure signs.