Daines: National Parks Services Open During Shutdown
Many National Park services will be open during the government shutdown, according to Montana Senator Steve Daines. Daines, in a news release, said the Acting Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, ordered the Park Service to use funds for critical park services. He is the second Interior Secretary to authorize such openings during a shutdown. Former Secretary Ryan Zinke did it during the three-day shutdown last January.
P. Daniel Smith, Deputy Director of National Park Service, in a news release, said funds that are set aside for future projects would be used now for safety issues, maintenance and sanitation service and for additional rangers for law enforcement and patrol of accessible areas. Smith said a number of states, private companies and park non-profit groups also have donated $2 million in donations and in-kind services. The parks will not be fully open and many smaller parks will remain closed. Visitors should visit the national parks website (www.nps.gov) and select "Find a Park" for the latest information on each park. Senator Daines said, "I'm glad to see the Department of Interior will fund these critical programs while the government is shut down, supporting those in Montana's gateway communities and protecting our national parks."