As the nation grapples with the first partial government shutdown in nearly two decades, one emotion resonated more than any other in South Dakota: Frustration.
On Tuesday morning, tourists who traveled hundreds of miles to visit Mount Rushmore were turned away; hunters were warned not to enter federal wetlands; Ellsworth Air Force Base grounded one of its two B-1 bomber fleets, and 549 full-time employees were furloughed from the South Dakota National Guard.
In total, 800,000 federal employees across the country will be furloughed and more than a million will be expected to work without pay in the first shutdown. The shutdown was forced by the Republican-controlled House after the Senate, controlled by Democrats, would not concede to demands to weaken President Obama's 2010 health care law.
Not all government operations have been closed. Employees considered "essential," from mine inspectors to border agents, will continue to work. Other services that are largely paid through fees, like the postal service, will continue to operate.
Deployed military personnel will be unaffected, but that doesn't mean domestic bases won't feel the pain. In addition to grounding one of two squadrons in its local bomber fleet, Ellsworth Air Force Base furloughed 427 of its 582 civilian employees.
“We are in the midst of an emergency furlough — which may have severe and disruptive financial impact on our civilian workforce — and impact the ability of the base to accomplish its mission,” said Col. Kevin Kennedy, 28th Bomb Wing commander, in a press release.
Those furloughs were no more disruptive than for federal employees themselves.
Joseph Ladd, 28, a biological technician employed for the National Park Service for the summer, worked an hour at his Rapid City office before he and others were asked to leave on Tuesday.
Ladd, who moved from Washington in May, said the shutdown now put him in a tricky financial situation: While he applied for the unemployment benefit that day, it would take at least three weeks for those funds to come through.
"I have bills to pay," he said. "I have got stuff that I need to attend to – this happened conveniently at the start of the month, when I need to pay rent."
Overall though, Ladd said he felt disappointed. With a relatively small job market for his field of expertise, Ladd had spent the past four years doing unpaid summer internships for the federal government before he finally landed paid work in South Dakota.
"After four years of interning, this is my first job of actual federal employment," he said. "And it's getting ripped out from underneath me."
Disappointment was laced with anger for those who were planning to rely on government services Tuesday.
Deb Anderson, 61, an escrow closing assistant in Bismarck, N.D., drove six hours with her husband to see Mount Rushmore — only to find its entrance closed.
"I'm very, very mad at our government," she said. "There's other things that they can do and they have to quit 'Republicans against Democrats.'"
Anderson and her husband joined hundreds of other cars that crawled along the road outside the sculpture. Mount Rushmore employees — about half of whom are still working — blocked off pull-off areas, leaving visitors to vie for scarce space to stop and gaze at the monument.
National parks aren't the only areas that will be closed until Congress can reach a spending agreement. Large swathes of hunting and fishing ground managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were also closed to public access.
Chris Hesla, executive director of the South Dakota Wildlife Federation, a hunting lobby group, said those closures hit particularly close to home for him — especially knowing that waterfowl hunting season opened on Saturday.
"I think it's more of a travesty now because it's affecting me personally," he said. "Before it really didn't."
[Editor's note: This story has been changed to reflect a clarification. Ellsworth Air Force Base grounded one of two squadrons in its bomber fleet.]