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

USStates help run U.S. National Parks in federal government shutdown

13:30  22 december  2018
13:30  22 december  2018 Source:

Government shutdown 'complicated' repairs for National Christmas Tree

Government shutdown 'complicated' repairs for National Christmas Tree The partial government shutdown has "complicated" repairs for the National Christmas Tree, a spokesperson said on Sunday. 

In United States politics, a government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to pass or the President fails to sign appropriations legislation funding federal government operations and agencies.

From October 1 to October 17, 2013, the United States federal government entered a shutdown and curtailed most routine operations because neither legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014

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

National Christmas Tree site reopens during shutdown The National Park Foundation announced on Monday that the site of the National Christmas Tree in Washington was reopening after a brief closure tied to the government shutdown. The National Christmas Tree, in President's Park outside the White House, sustained damage after a man climbed it on Friday evening. The National Park Foundation said in its statement Monday that the site was closed after the climbing and had remained closed because of the partial government shutdown. But support from the National Park Service's charitable foundation allowed the site to reopen on Christmas Eve.

The first United States federal government shutdown of 2018 began at midnight EST on Saturday, January 20, 2018, and ended on the evening of Monday, January 22. The shutdown began after a failure to pass legislation to fund government operations and agencies.

The United States federal government shutdowns of 1995 and 1995–96 were the result of conflicts between Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress over funding for Medicare

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. 

US government shutdown looms as Republicans struggle to pitch bill. “A disruption in government spending means no government paychecks to spend; lost business and revenue to private contractors; lost sales at retail shops, particularly those that circle now-closed national parks ; and less tax

Despite a government shutdown , Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and Yosemite National Park in California were open, but few The Interior Department had vowed to keep open as many parks , monuments and public lands as possible during the shutdown , which began at midnight

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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