From coast to coast, stories of brutish behavior by members of the National Park Service during the government shutdown are cropping up and stirring grassroots anger.
The behavior first drew national attention when a group of World War II veterans had to circumvent barricades to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington. Many parks and monuments began to display far greater security presence than when the sites are open.
When Yellowstone National Park closed on Oct. 1, thousands of people were in the park, including Pat Vaillancourt, a Massachusetts resident touring the park in a bus with a group that included Asians, Australians, and other foreign visitors, many of them senior citizens.
Vaillancourt told radio host Michael Graham that when the bus stopped near a large herd of bison, an armed female ranger came by and told them they were "recreating," and ordered them back on the bus.
The tourists were taken to Old Faithful Inn on the park grounds, where they were locked in the hotel under armed guard.
"They looked like Hulk Hogans, armed," Vaillancourt said. "They told us you can't go outside. Some of the Asians who were on the tour [and didn't understand English well] said, 'Oh my God, are we under arrest?' They felt like criminals."
At the Claude Moore Memorial Farm in northern Virginia, a group of private citizens funds a site formerly run by the National Park Service where participants conduct historical re-enactments. After the shutdown, the government ordered the farm to close.
When the farm's administrators appealed, the Park Service sent officers to barricade the place.
On Wednesday, though, the Park Service reportedly relented and allowed the farm to reopen a property that isn't even operated by the federal government.
In the Badlands of South Dakota and Mount Rushmore, Facebook photos of people driving over hazard cones have gone viral.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker defied a federal directive to close state parks that receive federal funding, ordered the state administrators to keep the parks open.
Perhaps concerned about bad publicity, the Park Service re-opened the World War II Memorial Wednesday for "1st Amendment activities."
Leaders of the American Center for Law and Justice applauded the decision after the ACLJ threatened to file a federal lawsuit.
Executive Director Jordan Sekulow called the decision "a victory for the Constitution and common sense."
Sekulow was escorted from the site of the memorial by park police last week.
The Washington Times quotes an anonymous park service official who said law enforcement people affiliated with the parks were instructed to "make life as difficult for people as we can" during the federal shutdown.