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Governor Expects Federal Government Will Repay Utah for National Parks Help

Photo of Zion National Park entrance.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he expects the federal government will reimburse the state for the money spent to keep its five National Parks open in the final days of the shutdown.

During the partial government shut down the state sent about $1.7 million dollars to the federal government to keep the national parks open, but there was no promise that they would receive any of it back. At his monthly news conference on KUED Governor Herbert says Utah’s congressional delegation is working hard to make sure the state gets repaid. He also says he believes it was a good investment either way.

“And it certainly was worth it when you think we spent about $166 thousand dollars in investment side and get about $3 million dollars a day in our national parks and those surrounding areas in economic benefit it’s a good return on your investment,” he says.

Herbert says Utah was fortunate to have the resources to pay to keep the parks open, but he hopes that they aren’t forced to do it again.

“I just say to you that the shutdown, there were no winners," he says. "The attempt to shut down the federal government, I don’t think is a good idea and I’m disappointed that we got to that point.”

Utah sent the federal government enough money to keep the parks open for 10 days but after financing six of those days, the shutdown ended. Herbert says they received the difference, about $600 thousand dollars, Thursday afternoon.

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