Visitors at national parks across the country have faced a lack of many basic services during the partial government shutdown. Member station KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, an executive order by Arizona’s governor has prevented some of those issues at Grand Canyon National Park.
Governor Doug Ducey issued his Grand Canyon Protection Plan during the federal shutdown last February. Under the order, Arizona is paying nearly 65,000 dollars a week from its Tourism and Parks departments to maintain restrooms, run shuttles, collect trash, and keep trails open. Emergency personnel and law enforcement rangers are also still on the job.
Emily Davis is a Grand Canyon spokesperson.
"Right now we do have skeleton crews. Some of things that are closed at Grand Canyon that people won’t be able to experience are things like the visitor’s centers, interpretive programs, many ranger-led walks or talks," she says.
A steady stream of visitors is still traveling to the park even as its slow season begins. Grand Canyon is a major economic driver for Arizona, and attracts more than 6 million visitors a year and hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism revenue.