Center for Western Priorities Facebook
Center for Western Priorities Twitter
Center for Western Priorities Videos

GET EMAIL UPDATES

Statement on Ryan Zinke’s attempt to keep national parks open during a government shutdown

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 19, 2018

DENVER—As the federal government careens toward a possible shutdown at midnight tonight, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is scrambling to find a way to avoid photos of “closed” signs on our national parks. Unfortunately, Interior’s shutdown plans do not include such contingencies, as confirmed by a spokeswoman at Death Valley National Park who told the Washington Post, “We don’t have a plan yet. We just got a memo about this yesterday.”

The Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:

“Secretary Zinke is more concerned about the politics and optics of a shutdown than he is about doing what’s right for the American people and America’s parks. Trying to keep our national parks open without visitor centers, park guides, or even most restrooms carries huge risks to public safety, public health, and our natural resources. This half-baked plan will endanger park visitors and the skeleton crew of first responders that would remain on the job during a shutdown.”

Former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell confirmed to The Atlantic that she tried to keep national parks open during the 2013 government shutdown, but since parks rely on unarmed staff and volunteers to keep visitors safe, keeping parks open with limited staff would have been too dangerous.

“It’s naive for folks to believe that we can protect these assets and do what is required by law with just law-enforcement staff,” Jewell said.

Latest News

@WstrnPriorities on Twitter


3 days ago
A riveting first-person account from @JessiJohnson89 of @artemis_nwf about how her first bow hunt turned her into a public lands advocate for life.

https://t.co/iGyLWHZZpS
4 days ago
NEW PODCAST: @JessiJohnson89 of @artemis_nwf describes how her first bowhunt turned her into a public lands activist for life.

https://t.co/jrFZxOUHgw
5 days ago
UPDATE on Rep. Mike Noel’s undisclosed land that magically got cut out of Grand Staircase-Escalante NM. Fact-check from @Western_Values:

https://t.co/JyV5Xd6C5J
5 days ago
New from @GregorZimmer: The Land & Water Conservation Fund is wildly popular with Republicans and Democrats in Montana. So why is @SecretaryZinke trying to defund it?

https://t.co/hiuJlwTozz https://t.co/QoaYYRsvXq
WstrnPriorities photo

FROM THE BLOG


Interior Secretary Zinke wants to defund a vital land conservation program he supposedly supports

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has turned his back on Montana, a state he represented in Congress until last year. The...

February 15th, 2018

In their own words: Interior Department admits it’s helping oil and gas companies at the expense of taxpayers, clean air

At the direction of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the Bureau of Land Management has announced it will effectively eliminate a...

February 15th, 2018

Trump’s “Energy Dominance” Reality Check

The fact is, U.S. oil production hit new heights during the Obama administration. Same with natural gas. The Trump administration’s...

February 8th, 2018