Private Donations And State Funds Are Unable To Reopen Grand Canyon

October 04, 2013

Don’t look for Grand Canyon National Park to reopen during the government shutdown, even if somebody comes up with the cash to operate it. 

In 1995, then-Governor Fife Symington negotiated a deal to keep part of the Canyon open with $17,000 a day in donated money. But Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga says things are different now, and that’s not going to happen,

 “At that time it wasn't a bad decision,” Uberuaga said. “But it was something that we're not going to have go on this time.”

 Uberuaga says a decision has been made at higher levels, that running a federal park is a core operation of government that only Congress can fund.

 “And until we have federal appropriations, the National Parks Service is not opening any park,” Uberuaga  said. “It's not the Statue of Liberty. It's not Grand Canyon. It's not the Washington Monument. It's not anything."

 The stance makes moot the $25,000 pledge of Red Feather Properties, operator of a lodge in nearby Tusayan, and calls by some lawmakers for the state to come up with the funds.

If you like this story, Donate Now!