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U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Oct. 10 said the Obama Administration will consider reopening some of the 368 national parks closed by the federal shutdown if their host states agree to pay for it.

While that is encouraging news — particularly in Utah, Arizona, South Dakota, and Colorado — it doesn’t mean much for waterfowlers and others closed out of the 329 huntable national wildlife refuges that have been closed to access since the shutdown began on Oct. 1.

These lands, as well as some Army Corps of Engineers sites, will remain closed unless, that is, states want to pay for them as well. Only select national parks are being considered for state-financed reopening.{C}

Jewell made the offer to allow states to reopen national parks — if they pay for it — in response to an Oct. 8 letter from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to President Obama in which he said his state has resources to operate the parks temporarily if federal funding is not available.

October is a peak month for tourism in many parts of the West. Herbert said in the letter that the shutdown of national parks has been “devastating” to individuals and businesses that rely on park operations for their livelihood. Utah is home to five national parks, including Zion, Bryce and Arches, which attract visitors from around the world.

Hebert estimated the economic impact of the federal government shutdown on Utah at about $100 million. According to the DOI’s website, it costs about $21 million a year to operate the five Utah national parks, or about $60,000 a day.

The Associated Press notes that the governors of South Dakota, Arizona, and Colorado have made similar requests.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Oct. 3 offered to pay for reopening Grand Canyon National Park with state money. The shutdown has led to furloughs for about 2,200 people who work at the park and nearby businesses.

According to The Grand Canyon News, a developer who owns several lodges near the canyon pledged $25,000 towards keeping the park open for visitors. Other local businesses put up a combined $125,000 for the same purpose, the paper said.

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has also offered to use state employees to keep Mount Rushmore open.

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