Mon, Dec. 09

Partial government shutdown: What parks are still open in Arizona?

Tuzigoot National Monument remains closed during government shutdown

Tuzigoot National Monument remains closed during government shutdown

As the United States still remains in a partial government shutdown amid disputes over funding of President Donald Trump’s border wall, people may notice nearby national parks are closed.

During a partial shutdown, two major agencies are affected: Homeland Security and National Park Service.

Saturday, Clarkdale Mayor Doug Von Gausig submitted a photo of a fenced-off entrance of Tuzigoot National Monument.

While most national parks cut services, it’s still business as usual (for the most part) at the Grand Canyon, according to the NPS website.

According to NPS, the State of Arizona has provided funding to assist in keeping the Grand Canyon National Park open and accessible to visitors.

“During the partial shutdown of the federal government due to the lapse of appropriations, national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures,” according to the NPS website. “Park roads, lookouts, and trails at Grand Canyon National Park will remain accessible to visitors. Visitor services provided by park concessioners and other entities will also remain open and operational, including lodging, restaurants and food service, grocery stores, retail locations, bicycle rental, concessioner provided tours, and park shuttle operations.”

But NPS staffed visitor centers and contact stations are closed. NPS ranger tours and programs will not be provided.

NPS employees who collect fees and handle other tasks at some Arizona parks are furloughed without pay during the shutdown.

Who else is affected?

The Department of Homeland Security is also affected during a government shutdown but border patrol employees will remain at their posts. ICE agents and airport screeners are considered essential employees and will stay on the job.

Federal employees who work during a shutdown don’t get paid for days worked but have in the past be been paid retroactively.

The Senate recently passed legislation ensuring workers get back pay. The House may follow suit.

Federal employees who perform national security-related tasks are exempted from these furloughs.

Federal employees were granted an extra day of vacation on Christmas Eve under an executive order by Trump.

Members of Congress continue to collect paychecks during shutdowns.

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