Press Release Jan 19, 2018

Administration’s Plan to Keep National Parks Open During Government Shutdown Puts Visitors and Resources At Risk

The Department of the Interior plans to keep some national parks open through a government shutdown.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association

“Congress, first and foremost, is responsible for funding the federal government. And they are failing.

"With the federal government shutdown, the administration is implementing a partial closure of many of our national parks. Gates would be open and people could enter, but there would be virtually no staff on hand to protect them or the parks’ resources. It’s an irresponsible way to run parks.

"There is no substitute for National Park Service staff and their expertise, and it is not wise to put the public or our park resources at risk by allowing for half-measures to keep them open. And yet, that’s exactly what the Department of Interior is asking park superintendents to do.

"Keeping parks open with virtually no staff is a risky situation, and the guidance park staff is being given is vague at best.

"The only way to fix this situation is for Congress to come together, do its job and fund the federal government – including our national parks and all who work in them.”


About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit

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