Obama administration allows states to reopen national parks

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert’s office announced Thursday that the Obama administration will allow states to use their own money to reopen national parks, which have been closed due to the government shutdown.

Nate McDonald, public information officer for the governor’s office, said Herbert will be working on the next step to get Utah’s national parks back open.

Utah Deputy for Communications Ally Isom said Herbert spoke with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Thursday.

“We’ve had a breakthrough and are working out details now,” Isom said.

On Wednesday, Herbert offered to use state funds to reopen Utah’s five national parks in order to keep tourism dollars flowing into the state.

“We know there’s disfunctionality in Washington D.C.,” Herbert told reporters on Wednesday. “Let us run the parks. Let us open up, at least in a partial way. We’ll have the manpower, we’ll have the resources to open up some of our parks and help with the economy in these rural parts of Utah that are hurting so much.”

FOX 13 will update this story with the latest details as soon as they become available.

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