Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Utah national parks affected by shutdown will get federal help 'within days'

Utah national parks affected by shutdown will get federal help 'within days'

"NPS will begin to use these funds to clean up trash that has built up at numerous parks, clean and maintain restrooms, bring additional law enforcement rangers into parks to patrol accessible areas, and to restore accessibility to areas that would typically be accessible this time of year", the agency wrote in the press release.

"We are taking this extraordinary step to ensure that parks are protected, and that visitors can continue to access parks with limited basic services", read the statement from the agency's deputy director, P. Daniel Smith. While the NPS will not be able to fully open parks, and numerous smaller sites around the country will remain closed, utilizing these funds now will allow the American public to safely visit many of our nation's national parks while providing these iconic treasures the protection they deserve. Some critics contend fees collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act are designated for visitor services and not for basic maintenance operations, according to The Post.

Though, this new order is already being criticized.

"The law is clear: if the federal government is shut down, our National Parks must also be closed to protect public safety and pristine spaces", said McCollum, who recently became chairwoman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Interior Department.

If it is, she hopes that National Park Service janitors will be some of the first staffers to come back to work.

"This is an obligation of government", she said. "The president expects them to either pay more to keep the toilets clean out of their own pockets or pay millions of dollars for his ridiculous wall".

Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva, the new chairman of House Natural Resources Committee, said his committee will probe whether the administration's action is "legally justified".

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This has reportedly forced authorities to investigate the case in secret, supported by Interpol and the national police. Svein Holden, Hagen's lawyer, told reporters the abduction was "a cruel and an inhuman act".

Members of a Muslim youth group meet at Cuyahoga National Park in Cleveland to clean up litter.

Citing an unnamed Park Service official, the Post reported that the Interior Department's solicitor had authorized the memo.

Thousands of park service workers have been placed on furlough as the government works out a deal to reopen the government.

Bhatti said many Americans do not know what it is to relate to Muslims and that more than 60 percent of Americans do not personally know a Muslim, and community service outings help increase dialogue with persons of other faith. And some visitors have died in parks since the shutdown began.

While none of these efforts can replace the full force of the National Parks services, the volunteer-led initiatives show that Americans will always be willing to take care of its lands and communities when adversity arises.

My thoughts were overwhelmed by these stories as I drove out to Joshua Tree National Park this weekend, anxious as to what I was going to see during this national park "free-for-all". The agency said previously that it would seek to keep parks "as accessible as possible" during the funding lapse.

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