‘It’s a free day’: Zion National Park reopens with Utah state aid
As Twitchy reported, Utah’s Zion National Park was the site of one of the first “Occupy America” protests, with hikers scaling the fence in defiance of the government’s shutdown of national parks. The Salt Lake Tribune’s Jim Dalrymple today reports that the park is again open, with Gov. Gary Herbert striking a deal to loan the federal government the money to keep several parks open for 10 days.
Herbert wrote to President Barack Obama earlier this week, offering state funding and asking the president for the “keys to the gates.” Thursday morning, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell spoke to Herbert by phone, expressing a willingness to consider the state’s offer, sparking a scramble to hammer out the deal finalized Thursday evening.
The park hasn’t fully re-opened, but that hasn’t stopped the public from lining up to pass through the now-open gates.
The Tribune reports that the parks are expected to take in $100 million in revenue in the busy tourist month of October.
Other state governors, such as Arizona’s Jan Brewer, have also proposed footing the bill to reopen their state parks but haven’t been able to hammer out deals with the administration.