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Obama Admin Will Allow States to Fund National Parks

October 10
22:39 2013

Rep Ann Kirkpatrick

Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, representing Arizona’s 1st District, says the Obama administration’s decision to allow states to use their own money to reopen some national parks that have been closed because of the government shutdown is major news for the Glen Canyon, Grand Canyon, and many other national parks and monuments.

According to Kirkpatrick’s website, Governors in at least four states, Arizona included, have asked for authority to reopen national parks within their borders because of the economic impacts caused by the park closures.  Arizona’s  Governor Jan Brewer and other legislative leaders sent a letter to the President requesting the State of Arizona be allowed to reopen the Grand Canyon using state and private funding.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a letter Thursday to governors in Utah and other states that the government will consider offers to pay for park operations, but will not surrender control of national parks to the states. Of the decision to reopen some of the parks, Kirkpatrick added,

These destinations bring millions of dollars into our local economy, which has taken a tremendous direct hit during the shutdown. We are glad the administration listened to our strong concerns and will allow for state resources to step in during the federal shutdown. Ultimately, the best way to restart our economies is to reopen the entire government.”

As a result of the government shut down, all 401 national parks have been closed and 20,000 National Park Service employees have been furloughed.  District 1 in Arizona holds the Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon National Parks, a major revenue source for Northern Arizona.

The National Park Service estimated that over 500 concessions employees from Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas will lose their jobs as a result of the October 1, 2013 government shutdown.

Read Over 500 Lose Jobs from National Park Shutdown

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