SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart wants to ensure states can reopen their national parks if the federal government partially shuts down again.
The Republican Congressman introduced legislation Wednesday allowing states, in the event of a shutdown, to pay to operate National Parks and other federal programs and facilities in their states that impact tourism, mining, timber or transportation.
A 16-day partial shutdown of the government earlier this month shuttered more than 400 national parks and other areas, but after 10 days, the Obama administration allowed states to pay to reopen sites within their borders.
Utah took the deal, paying about $1.7 million to reopen five national parks and three other sites.
Stewart says in a statement that his bill would guarantee such deals and allow those sites to reopen much faster.