Wyoming’s U.S. Senator John Barrasso sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland asking that she keep national parks and other public lands open in the event of a government shutdown Friday.
In the letter, Barrasso called on Haaland to use park fees to keep the parks operational. Barrasso noted that keeping the parks open will benefit visitors, park service employees, and local economies. In his letter,
Barrasso pointed out, “The safety, security, and public access to America’s national parks should be a priority regardless of the political environment.” Differences between the House and Senate on the pending national budget bill threaten to result in a government shut-down at the end of the week.
However, Barrasso says closing the parks would have devastating impacts, including impacts to members of the public who plan and save for trips to national parks, to the gateway communities that rely on park visitation for jobs and economic stability and to National Park Service employees who rely on a regular paycheck. Barrasso made the request as a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.