Utah’s national parks are re-opening today and they should be back in full operation by tomorrow morning, and Governor Gary Herbert hopes the state can save at least part of its peak tourist season.
The state of Utah has sent $1.67 million dollars to the National Park Service to cover ten days of operating expenses for Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Zion National Parks as well as Natural Bridges and Cedar Breaks National Monuments and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. They’ll be open for the long Columbus Day weekend and the annual UEA vacation in Utah schools.
Governor Herbert says the deal with the federal government will also help avoid conflict between federal employees and local county authorities.
“Some are so anxious to go out and have confrontation rather than resolve the problem," Herbert told KUER. "That’s somewhat human nature and people are emotional about this issue, a little upset at the federal government, getting more angry day by day as this federal shutdown continues. And so there’s a little bit of that concern, and again, I think cooler heads prevailed.”
Herbert says he will call a special session of the legislature to meet on the regular interim committee day next week. Legislators will have to deal with the parks agreement and make some other budget adjustments required by the federal shutdown.
In the meantime, he says he’d like to see everybody go and visit the parks.