The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

October 11, 2013

Some states reopen national parks; others eye options

(Continued)

SALT LAKE CITY —

The town of Tusayan, and area businesses have pledged $400,000 to help reopen the canyon, but Wilder said it was unclear if the Interior Department could accept private funds.

Interior Department spokesman Blake Androff said Thursday the government had no plans to reimburse states that pay to reopen parks. But members of Congress introduced legislation Friday to refund the money within 90 days.

In Utah, Herbert estimated the economic impact of the federal government shutdown at $100 million in his state.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's administration was working on a proposal to reopen parks in that state, including the Gateway Arch grounds in St. Louis and the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Park in southern Missouri.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said his state can't afford to reopen its parks, as did Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Sandoval said Nevada is already facing critical funding decisions on dozens of programs, including food stamps, unemployment insurance and aid to women, infants and children.

In Wyoming, Gov. Matt Mead's office said the state would not pay to reopen two heavily visited national parks or Devil's Tower national monument.

"Wyoming cannot bail out the federal government and we cannot use state money to do the work of the federal government," Mead spokesman Renny MacKay said.

Outside the Grand Canyon, some tourists made the most of their trek by taking photographs in front of the park's sign.

Rassie Erasmus and his wife, Yolando, from Cape Town, South Africa, said they had been saving money for their trip to America for some time and were disappointed to find the park closed.

"We actually looked forward to going to the Statue of Liberty, but we believe that's closed as well, so we'll see what else is left," Erasmus said. "Maybe Vegas."

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