Arches National park Arches Utah
Arches National Park will open by Saturday for ten days. The state of Utah reached an agreement with the Department of the Interior to pay National Parks Service employees with state dollars during the government shutdown. (Photo: Palacemusic/Wikimedia)

Utah National Parks Open Saturday

State foots the bill to open its parks

Arches National park Arches Utah

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The federal government shutdown continues, but Utah’s National Parks will open this weekend.

Thursday, the Obama administration announced that it will work with governors who want to open their National Parks if they foot the bill, and Utah’s governor Gary Herbert took the Department of the Interior up on that offer. Eight sites run by the National Parks Service—including Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks—will be open to visitors by Saturday and remain open for the next 10 days.

The governor told KUTV that he hopes to restore tourism dollars to the communities that depend on them. 

Utah will shell out $166,572 per day out of the state’s coffers to briefly open its parks and bring dollars back to many tourist towns that have been turned into ghost towns during the shutdown. According to the New York Times, the shutdown is costing parks around the country about $76 million per day.

If the National Parks in your state are still closed, you do have recourse. The website allows you to enter your phone number and connect to a random member of the House. The website also prompts you with talking points, such as “If you can yell at a Park Ranger after forcing the Government to shut down then I get to yell at you,” “My kids won’t stop yelling at me about camping,” and “I can’t watch the panda.

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Lead Photo: Palacemusic/Wikimedia

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