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Looming federal government shutdown would have large impact on many Utah parks

Posted at 7:09 AM, Sep 29, 2021

Washington lawmakers are scrambling to avoid a federal government shutdown that could lead to furloughs for hundreds of thousands of federal workers in the middle of a national health crisis, and have wide-reaching impacts here in Utah.

Unless Democrats and Republicans can come together on a deal, funding for most federal agencies will expire at midnight on Thursday and many government functions will grind to a halt.

Here in Utah, all visitor services at national parks would stop as funding halts for the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

Utah has five national parks and six national monuments:

  • Arches National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Bears Ears National Monument
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • Jurassic National Monument
  • Little Sahara Recreation Area

The National Park Service employs around 20,000 people nationwide, all of whom would possibly stop receiving paychecks during a shutdown.