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HomeBusinessStates Fund Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks Despite Government Shutdown.

States Fund Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks Despite Government Shutdown.

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Arizona and Utah have pledged to keep their national parks open if a federal government shutdown threatens access to these iconic sites. The decision was driven by the economic importance of the parks, with every $1 invested in the National Park Service generating over $15 in economic activity. The potential shutdown could result in the loss of nearly 1 million visitors and up to $70 million for gateway communities. Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs plans to use state funds, including revenue from the Arizona Lottery, to support the operation of the Grand Canyon National Park.

During the previous government shutdown in 2018-2019, overflowed trash, vandalism, and damage to distinctive plants were witnessed at national parks lacking sufficient staff and resources. Arizona and Utah are determined to prevent such disastrous conditions by investing state funds to keep the parks operating at a basic level. However, they expect to be reimbursed by the federal government, just as federal employees receive back pay. The decision to fund the parks highlights their significance as economic engines, generating billions of dollars and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs annually.

While Arizona and Utah have taken the initiative to keep their parks open, other states such as Washington and California do not plan to provide additional funding or staff if a shutdown occurs. For these states, budget constraints and other pressing needs take priority. The nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association argues that the responsibility to fund and keep the parks open ultimately lies with Congress. The association warns that the potential shutdown could impact over 400 sites across the country, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa.

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