Safety biggest concern at national parks during government shutdown

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ZION NATIONAL PARK (News4Utah) – Although the shutdown came to an end Monday, it still had an affect in Utah.

Congress reached a compromise to end the government shutdown late Monday afternoon. The agreement will finance the government through February 8.

“Because I’ve been here many times I thought 30 dollars and a line,” said Todd Rhees who drove down from Ogden on Monday.

But visitors to the park found no line to get in and no cost either.

“I mean we want to keep people employed and moving and things open and running smoothly, but yeah it’s a present today,” said Rhees.

Despite the scenic drive still being open – The visitors center, museum, and even bathrooms were closed on Monday.

But the biggest concern? Safety. “

Because we’re on such a skeleton staff just to maintain the park, if there is an emergency that arises, help will be very limited, and slow at best, so please police yourselves, take full responsibility for safety and be sure to come prepared,” said John Marciano, Public Information Officer for Zion National Park.

“Certainly glad the park is still open, but at higher elevations there is still concern that the trails could be icy or snow-covered,” said Amanda Roche, who was visiting from Pennsylvania.

“We have a very active park. I mean the other day we had a small rock slide that came across the road, and if that should happen we have to call people back in. We have snow conditions at the higher elevations,” said Marciano.

Kolob Canyons was closed Monday because of the snow. They had no way to plow any of the roads.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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