SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Obama administration’s willingness to reopen national parks shuttered by the government shutdown came with a big caveat: States must foot the bill with money they likely won’t see again.Well isn't that exactly what conservatives want - private donations to keep unessential things like 'monuments' functioning? Just like we're supposed to rely on charity for our healthcare?
So far, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Arizona and New York have jumped at the deal. Governors in other states were trying to gauge Friday what would be the bigger economic hit — paying to keep the parks operating or losing the tourist money that flows when the scenic attractions are open.
South Dakota and several corporate donors worked out a deal with the National Park Service to reopen Mount Rushmore beginning Monday. Gov. Dennis Daugaard said it will cost $15,200 a day to pay the federal government to run the landmark in the Black Hills.
Arizona officials said a deal reached Friday will mean visitors should be able to return to Grand Canyon National Park on Saturday.
In Utah, federal workers rushed to reopen five national parks for 10 days after the state sent $1.67 million to the U.S. government with the hope of saving its lucrative tourist season.
Just over 400 national parks, recreation areas and monuments — including such icons as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite — have been closed since Oct. 1 because of the partial government shutdown.
Officials in some states were not happy about paying to have the parks reopened.Well of course not! It's the Federal Government's job to pick up the tab for running these places, we are just supposed to reap the benefits of the money that pours in from the tourism!
Of course Arizona's Jan Brewer is at the head of the line to feed at the trough:
In Arizona, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer balked at spending about $112,000 a day for a full reopening of the Grand Canyon. She said a partial reopening would be much cheaper while allowing tourists to visit and businesses to benefit.Missouri's governor is working on a proposal to reopen its national monuments including the Gateway Arch. Nevada and Washington will not. Wyoming has said it can't afford to 'bail out' the federal government.
“The daily cost difference is enormous, especially without assurances that Arizona will be reimbursed,” said Andrew Wilder, a spokesman for Brewer.
In the end, Arizona agreed to pay the Park Service $651,000 to keep the Grand Canyon open for seven days. The $93,000 a day is less than the $112,000 the federal government had said was needed to fund park operations each day.
“Wyoming cannot bail out the federal government and we cannot use state money to do the work of the federal government,” Mead spokesman Renny MacKay said.Good one. Nice to know that the parasitic federal government is actually expected to do something. While blue states are also ponying up to keep their monuments and attractions open, it is well known that red states take more money from the federal government than they put in while the reverse is true of blue states. So it's a bit of an irony that they scream the loudest about intrusion from the nanny state and another bit of schadenfreude when they learn just how much they count on it.