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Park Administrator Remembers 1995 Government Shutdown

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 08 Apr 2011 11:20am | comments
Melrose Estate at Natchez National Historical Park.

Federal employees across Mississippi are watching and waiting to see what happens next, now that the federal government is shutdown. MPB's Jeffrey Hess talks with one national park administrator that is applying lessons learned from government shutdowns in the 1990's.

Kathleen Jenkins is now the Superintendent of the Natchez National Historical Park but 16 years ago during the federal government shutdowns of 1995 she was a museum technician at the beginning of her career.

"I was not essential. So we were told that we had to stay away," Jenkins said.

Jenkins says the shutdown was emotionally draining because of the uncertainty surrounding her future.

"I found that people who work for the National Park Service are some of the most dedicated people that I have ever encountered. So when we are so emotionally attached to our jobs, it is very hard to be denied that access," Jenkins said.

At Natchez, the plan is to do enough to keep property and life safe but all other functions of the park cease.

Jenkins says she has learned from her experience and tries to keep her employees as up to date as possible about what is going on in Washington and how it could effect the park and their jobs.

*Photo courtesy the Natchez National Historical Park website.

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Melrose Estate at Natchez National Historical Park.


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