State, Department of Interior reach deal to reopen federal sites in Utah
Oct 10, 2013 | 1717 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eight national parks, monuments and recreational sites in Utah will reopen by Saturday thanks to a deal struck by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and the Department of the Interior,, Herbert’s office announced in a news release on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 10.

" ... [A] deal has been reached with the U.S. Department of Interior to re-open the State’s five national parks, Cedar Breaks and Natural Bridges national monuments, and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area," the news release stated.

"This evening the Governor signed an agreement with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and the National Park Service (NPS) whereby Utah agrees to pay the NPS up to $1.67 million— $166,572 per day—to re-open eight national sites in Utah for up to 10 days. If the federal government shutdown ends before then, the State will receive a refund of unused monies.

“'Utah’s national parks are the backbone of many rural economies and hard-working Utahns are paying a heavy price for this shutdown,” Governor Herbert said. “I commend Secretary Jewell for being open to Utah’s solution, and the world should know Utah is open for business and visitors are welcome.'

"The national sites specified in the deal include Zion, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks, Glen Canyon and Natural Bridges.

"Under the terms of the deal, the Interior Department will notify site-specific personnel to return to work as soon as the State of Utah wires the money. Secretary Jewell indicated to the Governor that within 24 hours of receiving wired funds, the national sites could be open and fully operational. At the time of this release, Utah expects parks to begin re-opening tomorrow and become fully operational by Saturday."

The Times-Independent will post further updates as the details of local park openings become available.

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