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Statement on National Parks as the Federal Government Shuts Down Again

DENVER—As the federal government careened toward its second shutdown of 2018, the Center for Western Priorities issued the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:

“It’s been less than three weeks since Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke left the gates of our national parks open to poachers, illegal snowmobilers, and treasure hunters. He was warned of the dangers of opening national parks without proper staffing, but opted instead for a PR stunt. We hope this time Secretary Zinke decides that protecting our parks is more important than preening for the cameras.”

During the first government shutdown this year:

Prior to the first shutdown of 2018, former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told The Atlantic, “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. It’s not realistic, and I think it’s a lack of understanding of the roles that so many people play in the parks and, frankly, what [roles] volunteers play in the parks as well.”

Photo: Zion National Park by James Marvin Phelps, CC BY-NC 2.0

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