By Jack Fitzpatrick | Cronkite News Service
The National Park Service is not interested in coming up with plans to let states pay to keep parks open should another government shutdown occur, a service official testified late last week to a House subcommittee.
Park Service Comptroller Bruce Sheaffer said a bill to require such planning for all 401 national parks could take too much time and money — a position that was blasted as “atrocious” by the subcommittee chairman.
The Provide Access and Retain Continuity Act was one of two bills in response to the October shutdown of the federal government, when the closure of parks like the Grand Canyon cost states like Arizona millions in tourism revenues.
The other bill would direct the federal government to reimburse states for money they spent to reopen national parks during the shutdown, something the park service has said it does not have authority to do.