ST. GEORGE – During a “Conversation with the House” meeting held at the St. George City Offices, Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart announced the state and the Department of the Interior have reached an agreement for funding eight of Utah’s national parks and monuments.
The announcement was met by cheers from over 100 people in attendance at the meeting as Lockhart said the parks could be open Saturday morning, if not sooner. The National Parks Service has asked for at least 24 hours to recall personnel and prepare for the reopening of the parks and monuments.
However, according to the official announcement from the governors office, parks may be open as soon as Friday. Gov. Gary Herbert made the announcement around 8:45 p.m.
The national parks and monuments that will reopen include:
- Arches National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Capital Reef National Park
Zion National Park
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Lake Powell)
- Natural Bridges National Monument
- Cedar Breaks National Monument
The state has sent $1.67 million to the government to keep the parks and monuments open for 10 days.
With the parks being reopened within the next 24-36 hours, Lockhart said: “We really need to get the word out” that the parks are open. She added that deals are already being arranged with media groups to broadcast the news across the state and beyond.
“Utah’s national parks are the backbone of many rural economies and hard-working Utahns are paying a heavy price for this shutdown,” Herbert said. “I commend Secretary Jewell for being open to Utah’s solution, and the world should know Utah is open for business and visitors are welcome.”
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Zion National Park Re-Opening! | http://t.co/ivDFHqh4PG
— AtoZion (@AtoZion) October 11, 2013