Despite shutdown, people sneaking into Lake Mead - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Despite shutdown, people sneaking into Lake Mead

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Rangers say that despite warnings such as this, people have been entering Lake Mead National Recreation Area. (FOX5) Rangers say that despite warnings such as this, people have been entering Lake Mead National Recreation Area. (FOX5)
LAKE MEAD (FOX5) -

Despite the government shutdown, people are still entering Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Rangers have so far given out about 500 verbal warnings and a dozen citations.

There is no shortage of signs, barriers and cones keeping people from the park, but they haven't stopped those bent on fishing, hiking and biking there.

Disappointed and frustrated, Tennessee visitors Tom and Lynne Bulle turned around at the front entrance of the park Tuesday upon realizing it is shut down.

While Tom Bulle followed the rules, he said he doesn't blame those who don't.

"This is our country. This is property that we as citizens own," he said.

"We are seeing an up-tick in people who know the park is closed, and it's a beautiful time of year, and they still want to come out," said park spokeswoman Christie Vanover.

While first-time offenders have received verbal warnings from rangers, repeat offenders have been slapped with $125 tickets for trespassing. That includes two fishermen who took the time to hide their truck and trailer but still got caught.

"It's not that we don't want to allow people in the park. It's contrary to what we usually do. We like to invite people out to Lake Mead to enjoy this time of year, but unfortunately, until Congress passes the authorizations and appropriations to open the park, it remains closed," Vanover said.

The park usually hosts 15,000 visitors a day. With 75 percent of the staff furloughed, the park poses a great deal of danger to trespassers.

Repeat offenders could face a maximum of six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

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