Some states open federal parks despite shutdown

national park
CC BY 2.0 Wikimedia

Over the weekend, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Rocky Mountain National Park and the Statue of Liberty were open to visitors despite the federal government shutdown. That's because states like Colorado, New York and Utah are funding the parks to avoid losing tourism business.

Reporting for The Atlantic, Marina Koren writes:

"After a push from several governors, the Obama administration announced late last week that it would allow states to use their own money to pay for National Park Service operations. Shuttered parks were costing millions of dollars of revenue a day, state officials had argued. But keeping them open, even for just a week, isn't cheap. Still, for some states, salvaging a peak tourism season is worth it."

The Associated Press reports that the Federal Government will maintain control over its parks and monuments, even with states funding operations. There is currently a proposal that states be reimbursed:

"Interior Department spokesman Blake Androff said the government does not plan to reimburse states that pay to reopen parks. Costs could run into the millions of dollars, depending on how long the shutdown lasts and how many parks reopen. Congress could authorize reimbursements once the shutdown ends, although it was not clear whether that will happen."

Tags: United States

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