Obama allows states to use own money to reopen national parks
The US Department of the Interior said it would allow states to use their own funds to reopen their national parks. The move came as the government shutdown continues. According to Fox News, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell had informed state officials that she was open to making agreements with governors on the matter. Jewell had talked with officials from Colorado, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming who expressed willingness to use state and donated funds to put the national parks back in operation.
Interior Department Spokesman Blake Androff said the funds coming from the state would be treated as donations. They would only be repaid if Congress would authorize reimbursement through legislation.
ABC News reported that October is a peak month for tourists in Arizona and other states in the West. Andrew Wilder, spokesman for Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona, said they would make state funding available to reopen their parks. However, he warned that the state would not be able to pay for the federal government's obligations for an indefinite period. Businesses operating outside the Grand Canyon had already pledged to give USD 400,000 to reopen the parks.
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