One Utah lawmaker has a plan to aid the state’s tourism industry should the federal government shutdown last for an extensive amount of time.
The Daily Herald, Provo, reported that on Monday (Oct. 7) Rep. David Lifferth said that he is in the early stages of drafting legislation that would call on the federal government to turn over management of Utah’s five national parks to the state if the government remained closed for more than 30 days.
“I am proposing that in the event that the Federal Government is unable to maintain the five national parks, that these parks fall under the management and maintenance of the state parks system,” Lifferth told the Herald.
Utah’s State Park system is still in operation during the federal government shutdown and could possibly be able to manage the federally owned parks if called upon. Currently Utah manages more than 40 of its own state parks.
“This is just at the beginning stages as I speak to my constituents and other legislators and state officials. There may not be a need for such legislation because there are others that are working on parallel tracks that may address the issue in other ways,” he said.
Lifferth said he was still researching to see if there would be a cost to the state to have it manage the federal parks or if the entrance fees collected could cover the operational costs. He said once the federal government is open again that Utah would cease to manage the national parks.