Shutdown cost national parks at least $414M

MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press
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This Oct. 3, 2013 file photo shows a sign at the south entrance to Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz., indicates the park is closed. The Obama administration says it will allow states to use their own money to reopen some national parks that have been closed because of the government shutdown. Governors in at least four states have asked for authority to reopen national parks within their borders because of the economic impacts caused by the park closures.   (AP Photo/Brian Skoloff, File)

This Oct. 3, 2013 file photo shows a sign at the south entrance to Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz., indicates the park is closed. The Obama administration says it will allow states to use their own money to reopen some national parks that have been closed because of the government shutdown. Governors in at least four states have asked for authority to reopen national parks within their borders because of the economic impacts caused by the park closures. (AP Photo/Brian Skoloff, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says the government shutdown last fall resulted in nearly 8 million fewer visitors to national parks, costing the parks and surrounding communities an estimated $414 million in lost visitor spending.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the shutdown was a striking reminder that national parks are a powerful economic engine for local economies across the country.

The report released Monday said five states, including California and Arizona, lost more than $20 million during the 16-day shutdown.

Six states received permission to reopen national parks within their borders using state money. The report said those states generated nearly $10 in visitor spending for every dollar spent. Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota and Tennessee all reopened parks.

A bill is pending in Congress to reimburse those states.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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