SALT LAKE CITY - Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert today formally requested President Obama re-open the state's five national parks, several national monuments, historic sites and recreation areas.
In his Oct. 8, 2013, letter to Obama, Governor Herbert said the shutdown of Utah's national parks, monuments and other federal facilities is "devastating individuals and businesses that rely on these areas for their livelihood."
If the President won't free up federal funds to maintain and operate Utah's national parks and monuments, Governor Herbert asked him to authorize Utah to use state and private funds to re-open them to the public.
"It is within the power and authority of the Executive Branch to allow the national parks and monuments to be reopened. We have a solution in place. We just need, literally, the keys to the gates. I cannot overstate that time is of the essence," the Governor continued in the letter.
In addition, the Governor included emergency declarations from several Utah counties that highlight the dire economic situation as result of the shutdown.
October is a peak month for tourism in many parts of Utah. The economic impact of the federal government shutdown on the state is approximately $100 million.