Throughout the government shutdown, all national parks and memorials were closed, including Little River Canyon in Fort Payne. Barricades block all entrances, but that didn't stop one St. Clair County man from getting inside. Mike Sands saw what was happening to the World War II vets in Washington's veterans' park, so he questioned whose parks they were and made the trip to Little River Canyon.
Mike and his wife Wendy made the trek from St. Clair Co. last week to visit one of their favorite parks. When they arrived and found it barricaded they decided to just drive around. After an enjoyable hike down to the waterfall, they eventually made their way back to the parking lot, where they were met by a park ranger.
Sands said he was given a citation for driving on the grass to get around the barricade. The ticket costs $100. Sands said when he first arrived at the park and saw the barricade, he could have walked away.
"I started thinking. I said, those parks don't belong to them, they belong to us. And as long as you're not having to pay to get in and there's no danger up there for anyone, I'm not going to let them stop me from going to my park," said Sands.
Sands plans to fight the ticket in federal court. He already has an attorney, but no court date has been set. Park officials said this is the only instance thus far where someone has been cited for entering the closed park.
Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive