News / USA

Some US National Parks Re-Open With Funding From States

Some US National Parks Re-Open With Funding From Statesi
X
October 14, 2013
Some of America's best-known national parks have re-opened after being forced to close for almost two weeks due to the shutdown of the U.S. federal government. As VOA's Michael Lipin explains, several state governments decided they are better off funding the parks themselves than leaving them closed.
TEXT SIZE - +
Some of America's best-known national parks have re-opened after being forced to close for almost two weeks due to the shutdown of the U.S. federal government. Several state governments decided they are better off funding the parks themselves than leaving them closed.

The Statue of Liberty was back in business on Sunday after a 12-day closure. Tourists, who feared they might miss the New York icon, were thrilled.

They flocked to Battery Park to catch the ferry to Liberty Island.

"We didn't think we were going to be able to go, so this is beyond anything that we had expected," said a Canadian tourist.

The Statue of Liberty is one of about 400 national monuments and parks that closed on October 1.

That is when disputes over the federal budget prompted a partial shutdown of federal agencies, including the National Park Service.

New York State said the shutdown was costing New York City millions of dollars in lost tourism revenue.

So, it agreed to pay the National Park Service $370,000 to open the statue to visitors from Sunday to Thursday.

Three other states have made similar deals with the federal government.

Arizona officials decided to spend $93,000 a day to let visitors back into the Grand Canyon.

Governor Jan Brewer said the site is worth it.

"This brings an enormous amount of revenue to the economy, to the state of Arizona, and to our tax coffers.  So it was the right thing to do. And when we run out of seven days, we'll have to reassess, but we are committed," said Brewer.

About two-thirds of the funds to re-open the Canyon were donated by the nearby town of Tusayan. Mayor Greg Bryan said the closure hurt local business.  

"We estimate that well over a million dollars in the first week alone was lost, in terms of revenues coming into the community and into the Park Service with regard to their gate fees, as well as the revenues from the concessionaires up here. So in 11 days, we're talking millions of dollars, " said Bryan.

Elsewhere, South Dakota is paying $152,000 to re-open Mount Rushmore for 10 days, starting Monday.

The cliff bearing the faces of four American presidents draws almost three million visitors a year.

And Utah opened up eight of its national sites on Friday for a 10-day period, at a cost of $1.6 million.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has approved several bills to fund parts of the government including national parks.

But the Democratic-led Senate and the White House oppose partial measures, saying the House should agree to open the entire government at once.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid