Interior allows a dozen iconic national parks to reopen with state funding


#1

Washington Post:

Interior allows a dozen iconic national parks to reopen with state funding

On Saturday, the barricades at Utah’s Natural Bridges National Monument disappeared, allowing visitors to return to the tourist draw despite the government shutdown. They also came down at Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, Arizona’s Grand Canyon and New York’s Statue of Liberty. What began as a sort of modern Sagebrush Rebellion — with Utah county commissioners threatening to bring in a posse and dismantle federal barricades themselves — has become an intense negotiation between Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and governors across the country eager to reopen public lands that generate valuable tourism revenue.

The push by some of the most conservative governors in the nation to get federal workers back on the job comes as President Obama and congressional leaders struggle with how to resolve the budget impasse.
In an interview Friday, Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert (R) said he and Jewell worked out the agreement in the course of three or four conversations in recent days. After initially seeking permission to reopen the park and staff it with volunteers and others provided by the state, he agreed to pay for federal employees to return in order to revive the tourism that sustains several local communities near federal lands.

. . . . .

National Park Service director Jon Jarvis signed an agreement in which Utah provides nearly $1.7 million for 10 days of operation at eight federal properties: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion national parks, along with Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Cedar Breaks and Natural Bridges national monuments.
Colorado signed a similar pact, offering to pay the federal government $362,700 to reopen Rocky Mountain National Park for 10 days. Arizona will pay $651,000 to operate the Grand Canyon for seven days, while New York agreed to pay $369,300 to reopen the Statue of Liberty for six days. South Dakota will reopen Mount Rushmore on Monday, paying $152,000 to operate it for 10 days.


#2

[quote="didymus, post:1, topic:342044"]
Washington Post:

[/quote]

My own thought is that the federal government has shown itself incapable of handling the National parks these last couple of weeks, and therefore states should confiscate the land under imminent domain, and run them properly.

No. Seriously.

Jon


#3

[quote="JonNC, post:2, topic:342044"]

No. Seriously.

[/quote]

If serious, then you are apparently unaware that the states cannot legally seize federal land.


#4

[quote="runningdude, post:3, topic:342044"]
If serious, then you are apparently unaware that the states cannot legally seize federal land.

[/quote]

Of course they are prohibited by federal law. But then, there's lots of things the federal government does that, constitutionally, they can't do.

Jon


#5

What about the children with cancer at Bethesda who’s experimental trials were cancelled due to the shut down?


#6

[quote="KimberlyCat, post:5, topic:342044"]
What about the children with cancer at Bethesda who's experimental trials were cancelled due to the shut down?

[/quote]

If I am not mistaken, the House passed a spending bill for that very purpose, and the Democratic leadership in the Senate has decided not to act on it.

Jon


#7

[quote="KimberlyCat, post:5, topic:342044"]
What about the children with cancer at Bethesda who's experimental trials were cancelled due to the shut down?

[/quote]

Senate refuses to vote on House bill that funds it.


#8

Rocky Mountain National Park opened at noon yesterday.We will be taking our Sunday drive in the Park after the Texans butt whipping its over


#9

Ten days! What a stunt, open them all or close them all down again.
What the American public needs to learn from Washington D.C. using their National Parks as a pawn in its political games is that there is something fundamentally wrong in the way the parks are managed and it has been coming a long time.
There has been a maintenance backlog festering away at the heart of the National Park System for decades. It was about 4 Billion dollars in the Clinton years of the 1990s, reached 5 Billion during the George W. Bush years and is approaching 12 Billion under the watch of Obama. That means that large portions of the infrastructure of many National Parks are being allowed to rot because they are not being properly funded and fixed. Ask your elected officials to address the “Maintenance Backlog” and stop creating new parks that cannot be properly maintained.:frowning:


#10

Another illustration of incompetence of Federal management. Last I heard, the revenue generated at national parks doesn't STAY in the National Park Service budget, but vanishes into the maw of the federal general fund. If NPS were organized more compartmentally, then they'd already know which operations make net profit and which are money losers and situations like this could be handled more intelligently. If you've ever been to a big NP and seen the lines of cars waiting to pay their admission fee, you know what I'm talking about. That doesn't even mention the royalties for concessions, lodging, camp fees, etc.

I'm sure the NPS overall is a big money loser. But I also suspect that if you remove the big capital improvement projects, their day to day operations en masse MAKE money. That makes it totally idiotic and counter-productive to shut them down during a federal shutdown. Closing them probably costs more than keeping them open. Idiot government.


#11

You wouldn’t consider it a stunt if you were a business owner who depended on the visitors to the National Park for their livelihood.


#12

[quote="runningdude, post:3, topic:342044"]
If serious, then you are apparently unaware that the states cannot legally seize federal land.

[/quote]

What does that have to do with this administration? Who said anything about "seizing" the property - this would be MANAGING the property.


#13

[quote="estesbob, post:11, topic:342044"]
You wouldn't consider it a stunt if you were a business owner who depended on the visitors to the National Park for their livelihood.

[/quote]

A business model that depends on the federal government to reliably operate. Can we point out the flaw in the business model?


#14

[quote="SamH, post:13, topic:342044"]
A business model that depends on the federal government to reliably operate. Can we point out the flaw in the business model?

[/quote]

So people should not start businesses that cater to tourists who are visiting National parks? What business model should they use?


#15

[quote="estesbob, post:14, topic:342044"]
So people should not start businesses that cater to tourists who are visiting National parks? What business model should they use?

[/quote]

No, they should build into their business model expectations that the federal government is not the most reliable when it comes to managing resources. The fact that groups gain political sway that bar visitors to government owned land, or that the management of natural resources may or may not remain a priority to the federal government are variables that have to be accounted for. Farmers learned long ago that the government programs are not to be relied upon for long term planning. Some fail to take this in account and their farms fail accordingly.


#16

[quote="SamH, post:15, topic:342044"]
No, they should build into their business model expectations that the federal government is not the most reliable when it comes to managing resources. The fact that groups gain political sway that bar visitors to government owned land, or that the management of natural resources may or may not remain a priority to the federal government are variables that have to be accounted for. Farmers learned long ago that the government programs are not to be relied upon for long term planning. Some fail to take this in account and their farms fail accordingly.

[/quote]

Sam these people arent on Govt programs.You should build into your business model events that have happened twice in History? And of course the last time the park stayed open so perhaps they need a once in a lifetime vindictive President business model?


#17

[quote="estesbob, post:16, topic:342044"]
Sam these people arent on Govt programs.You should build into your business model events that have happened twice in History? And of course the last time the park stayed open so perhaps they need a once in a lifetime vindictive President business model?

[/quote]

Their business relies upon there being a reliable government running their main attraction. The government changes policies all the time. When Jimmy Carter imposed a grain embargo on the Soviet Union (how many times did that happen in 100 years) farmers went broke by the thousands. They were blamed for being over extended and relying on a market that was out of their control.

When they saw who was elected president they should have known that disruptions would be part of the future.


#18

[quote="estesbob, post:16, topic:342044"]
Sam these people arent on Govt programs.You should build into your business model events that have happened twice in History? And of course the last time the park stayed open so perhaps they need a once in a lifetime vindictive President business model?

[/quote]

Defense contractors, especially small ones, don't have many customers outside of the feds either, in fairness. Their business model is based almost solely on government funding.


#19

[quote="Darken_Rahl, post:18, topic:342044"]
Defense contractors, especially small ones, don't have many customers outside of the feds either, in fairness. Their business model is based almost solely on government funding.

[/quote]

Agreed. And how is that working out for them?

govexec.com/contracting/2013/04/large-contractor-undertakes-sequestration-related-layoffs/62669/


#20

[quote="SamH, post:19, topic:342044"]
Agreed. And how is that working out for them?

govexec.com/contracting/2013/04/large-contractor-undertakes-sequestration-related-layoffs/62669/

[/quote]

Not good, but there aren't really other options for them, is my point. There entire business is built around providing goods or services for the government. Short of saying "Lockheed is now going to build cars..." you can't blame them in this case for being tied to the entity that was the entire reason they were created (in many cases). Raytheon started out building microwaves and other electroganetic devices, but the demand simply isn't there the way it is for defense programs.

Also, unlike their federal civlian workforce collagues (who are being back payed) and their military colleagues (who aren't effected), there is no back pay for contractors, who far outnumber the civlians. They are simply told "good luck with feeding your family and all." With all the fuss about civilian back pay, there is little talk of the much larger contractor workforce who is essentially laid off until a CR or budget is passed.


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