Share

Park Service to tap into entrance fees to keep operating

Share

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service says it is taking the extraordinary step of dipping into entrance fees to pay for staffing at its highly visited parks in the wake of the partial government shutdown.

P. Daniel Smith, deputy director of the service, said in a statement Sunday that the money would be used to bring in staff to maintain restrooms, clean up trash and patrol the parks. He acknowledged that the Trump administration’s decision to keep the parks open during the weekslong budget impasse was no longer workable and so more extreme measures were warranted.

Parks have been relying on outside help for security and upkeep.

“We are taking this extraordinary step to ensure that parks are protected, and that visitors can continue to access parks with limited basic services,” Smith said.

Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana warned Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on Saturday of “significant risk to property and public health” without funding. Three Utah Republican congressmen also asked Bernhardt to restart regular operations.

Trending:
$181 Million Settlement Means Americans in 24 States Who Bought Chicken Between 2009 and 2020 Could Be Eligible for Payout

Democrats want the parks fully opened. But Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota, the incoming chair of the subcommittee overseeing Interior appropriations, said Sunday that dipping into user fees was “not acceptable” in this situation, and likely violates the law.

Parks supporters called the administration’s move misguided.

“Instead of working to reopen the federal government, the administration is robbing money collected from entrance fees to operate our national parks during this shutdown,” said Theresa Pierno, president and CEO for the National Parks Conservation Association. “For those parks that don’t collect fees, they will now be in the position of competing for the same inadequate pot of money to protect their resources and visitors. Draining accounts dry is not the answer.”

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation