Utah pays to reopen national parks during shutdown

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from USAToday,

Utah announced it will open five of the state’s national parks on Saturday after agreeing to pay out of state coffers to operate the federally operated parks that have been shuttered as a result of the partial government shutdown.

Gov. Gary Herbert said he agreed to send the federal government $1.67 million to the cover the costs of keeping the parks open for the next 10 days after the Obama administration announced on Thursday that it would allow states to pay to reopen any of the country’s 401 national parks.

Utah is the first state to take the administration up on its offer and wired the money to the National Park Service on Friday morning to reopen Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion national parks. The state is also paying to reopen the federally operated Natural Bridges and Cedar Breaks national monuments, as well as Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

The state estimates its national parks bring in $100 million to Utah’s economy in October.

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