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Local nonprofit pays to help keep Zion National Park open during shutdown

Posted at 5:54 PM, Dec 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-30 15:46:57-05

SPRINGDALE, Utah -- The State of Utah is spending about 10,000 dollars a day to keep visitor’s centers, and custodial services going throughout our National parks during the government shutdown.

On Monday, that money won’t be there.

That’s why Lyman Hafen and his nonprofit, Zion National Park Forever Project, decided to step forward.

Committing $2,000 dollars a day from Jan. 1-5, Hafen said the contribution is relatively small but serves a purpose.

“I feel like it’s very important to keep some basic operations in place,” said Hafen. “To keep some restrooms open, to keep the trash collection going and those kinds of things.”

Unlike the 2013 government shutdown, the gates are still open for Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.

“People are coming into the park, actually in very large numbers,” said Hafen.

When Fox 13 reached out to a Zion National Park spokesperson asking how much money the parks are losing each day of the shutdown, the spokesperson said because of the shutdown, they’re not handling media requests.

With each new day comes the question, how long will this last?

“We all have our fingers crossed that this situation will be resolved soon,” said Hafen.

The Zion National Park Forever Project funds are only going to Zion National Park.