Zion National Park, funded by area agencies, to remain open despite government shutdown

FILE - This Oct. 2, 2013, file photo, shows a view seen on the way to Glacier Point trail in the Yosemite National Park, Calif. The National Park Service is floating a proposal to increase entrance fees at 17 of its most popular sites next year. (AP Photo/Tammy Webber, File)

(KUTV) — St. George and other government agencies will ensure that Zion National Park will remain open for another week despite the continued government shutdown.

St. George mayor Jon Pike said that $7,327 from four agencies, or approximately $29,000, will keep the park functioning for another week while federal funding for the federal park waits for Washington D.C. to pass legislation to fund it.

The four agencies contributing are:

  • City of St. George
  • Washington County
  • Utah department of tourism
  • Zion National Park forever project

"While Zion National Park is our area's biggest economic driver, the park means so much more to us than just dollars and cents," Pike said to KUTV. "Its splendor is part of our identity; the eye-popping color and dramatic features of the park are so awe-inspiring. It should be enjoyed by everyone — residents and visitors."

The shutdown started Dec. 22, 2018, meaning funding the park could not come from the federal government.

“It is amazing and heartening to see how the State of Utah helped assemble this four-way coalition in a matter of hours to buy more time for the welfare of Zion National Park and to assure a better experience for the thousands of visitors who continue to come to Zion every day,” Lyman Hafen, renowned local author and Executive Director of the Zion Forever Project said. “The fact our state, county and city would deem this so important is a sign to everyone of what Zion National Park means to the lives and the livelihoods of all of us in Utah.”

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