US: States help run U.S. National Parks in federal government shutdown - PressFrom - US
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USStates help run U.S. National Parks in federal government shutdown

13:30  22 december  2018
13:30  22 december  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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The shutdown of all but essential federal services due to a Capitol Hill fight over U . S . President Donald Trump' s funding demands for a Mexico border wall comes at the height of the Christmas travel season. The National Park Service said this week that parks will remain "as accessible as possible.

The National Park Service said this week that parks will remain "as accessible as possible." During a three-day government shutdown in January, the gates All five of Utah' s national parks will remain open, and the three most popular will have maintenance costs underwritten by the state during the

States help run U.S. National Parks in federal government shutdown© Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi FILE PHOTO: The Colorado River runs through the west rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona

(Reuters) - While U.S. National Parks will generally remain open with a skeleton staff through the federal government shutdown, Republican governors in at least two states are working to make sure public restrooms get cleaned and visitor centers stay open.

The government shutdown of all but essential federal services due to a fight on Capitol Hill over funding for U.S. President Donald Trump's wall on the Mexican border comes at the height of the Christmas travel season.

National Christmas Tree site reopens during shutdown

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While U . S . National Parks will generally remain open with a skeleton staff through the federal government shutdown , Republican governors in at least two states are working to make sure public restrooms get cleaned and visitor centers stay open. The government shutdown of all but essential

States help run U . S . National Parks in federal government shutdown . Factbox: Departments affected by partial U . S . government A security barricade is placed in front of the U . S . Capitol on the first day of a partial federal government shutdown in Washington, U . S ., December 22, 2018.

The National Park Service said this week that parks "will remain as accessible as possible," in the same way as happened during a three-day government shutdown in January, when the gates to about two-thirds of national parks and monuments remained open.

"However services that require staffing and maintenance such as campgrounds and full-service restrooms will not be operating," Jeremy Barnum, the National Parks Service chief spokesman, said in a statement.

The Republican governors of Utah and Arizona have promised to step in to fill some of the breach, in part to protect local businesses in and around some of the country's most spectacular natural landscapes that depend on tourist spending.

"Regardless of what happens in Washington, the Grand Canyon will not close on our watch," Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said in a statement on Friday. The Arizona Office of Tourism will help ensure that restrooms are cleaned, trash is collected and shuttle buses operate throughout the shutdown, Ducey said.

Here's how much it's costing Arizona to keep Grand Canyon open during government shutdown

Here's how much it's costing Arizona to keep Grand Canyon open during government shutdown GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK - Arizona Governor Doug Ducey made it crystal clear on social media last week that the Grand Canyon is staying open. 

Many national parks have also closed, but several remain open during the shutdown , albeit without Agencies including the NSF, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Parks Service, the U . S Federal courts are still open and operating through January 11, by relying on court fee balances and

The federal government was about to shut down . But on Friday evening, a Utah state employee had a delivery to make: three checks, totaling ,034 and payable to the government in Washington that would soon close indefinitely.

All five of Utah's national parks will remain open, and the three most popular ones will have maintenance costs underwritten by the state during the shutdown, according to Vicki Varela, the Utah Office of Tourism's managing director.

Zion National Park alone drew 107,000 visitors between Dec. 22 and Dec. 27 a year ago, Varela said.

"This time of year is the most remarkable time of year to experience it because the snow against that red rock is just breathtaking," she said in a telephone interview.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert authorized the temporary funding for custodial and visitor center services, which will cost an estimated $18,000 to $19,000 for Zion. "It's really modest on the part of the state to protect the quality of the experience for visitors," Varela said.

In New York, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island closed down for a day during the January shutdown before Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, ordered state tourism funds be used to reopen them. His office did not respond to questions about whether he would repeat the exercise this weekend, and National Park Service officials in New York declined to discuss their plans.

Some conservationists warned that it was safer to shutter the parks entirely, as happened under Barack Obama's presidential administration during a 2013 shutdown, rather than have them open with skeleton staff.

During the January shutdown, a pregnant elk was killed in Zion and tourists in Yellowstone drove snowmobiles dangerously close to the Old Faithful geyser, said Theresa Pierno, president of the National Parks Conservation Association.

"It's unrealistic and dangerous to think that parks can remain open with only a skeleton crew and continue with business as usual," Pierno said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

National parks dealing with vandals, human waste in shutdown.
Human feces, overflowing garbage, illegal off-roading and other damaging behavior in fragile areas were beginning to overwhelm some of the West's iconic national parks on Monday. The partial government shutdown has left the areas open to visitors but with little staff on duty. Said Dakota Snider, who lives and works in Yosemite Valley: "It's a free-for-all." Yosemite National Park officials announced closings of some overwhelmed campgrounds and public areas within the park.

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