Government shutdown: Offers that would reopen national parks rebuffed by Feds
The closure of national parks has arguably been the most public face of the government shutdown. Offers by state and private officials to help keep the Grand Canyon and other places open have been turned down.
The National Park Service has rebuffed attempts by governors and private citizens to reopen gates closed by the government shutdown at iconic public areas like Grand Canyon National Park and Mount Rushmore, drawing comparisons to when Arizona called up the National Guard to challenge federal barricades at the Grand Canyon in 1995.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures US National Parks by Monitor photographers
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
This go-round, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) and a cadre of private interests offered to help fund a partial reopening of the Grand Canyon while the government shutdown grinds on, to no avail. Hundreds of parks, campgrounds, boat launches, and even some popular trail heads have been barricaded across the United States as thousands of National Park Service rangers and employees sit idle at home.
“I appreciate the support and I thanked them for the offer, but it's not an offer we can accept," David Uberuaga, Grand Canyon superintendent, told Fox News.
RECOMMENDED: Government shutdown 101: 12 ways it could affect you
The park closures have presented arguably the most public, and symbolic, face of the partial government shutdown, caused by an inability of Republicans and Democrats to procure a federal budget by an Oct. 1 deadline. The main sticking point has been a GOP attempt to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This is the fourth day of the shutdown, and there are few signs of it ending soon.
But given that in past shutdowns or budget standoffs, some park closings have been resolved, critics say the National Park Service is now being far too aggressive in barricading public lands. Some are accusing the agency of “showdown theater,” aimed at pinning blame on Republicans and reminding people of the importance of the federal government.
“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an unnamed Park Service ranger reportedly told The Washington Times. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”