Published Nov 12, 2013
Long gone are the days when "seldom is heard ... a discouraging word" out on the plains or in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, at least since the morons we elected to lead our great nation began acting like hostile punks brawling in a high school lunch room.
There is, however, some good news.
The National Park Service has entered into an agreement with the State of Tennessee that will allow Great Smoky Mountains National Park to re-open and temporarily operate during the government shutdown.
North Carolina is also reported to be among the governments negotiating similar deals to open national parks within their states.
Under the terms of the agreement, Tennessee will donate funds to the National Park Service for the sole purpose of enabling National Park Service employees to re-open and manage Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The agreement funds the park for a period of five days, running from October 16 through October 20 at the donated amount of $304,440.
Due to the lack of appropriations from Congress, the Department of the Interior was forced to close all national parks across the country last week and furlough more than 20,000 National Park Service employees who ensure the safety of visitors and the security of the resources.
Responding to the economic impacts that the park closures are having on many communities and local businesses, Secretary of the Interior Jewell announced last Thursday that she will consider agreements with Governors who indicate an interest and ability to fully fund National Park Service personnel to re-open national parks in their states.
"This is a practical and temporary solution that will lessen the pain for some businesses and communities in Tennessee during this shutdown," said Secretary Sally Jewell. "We want to re-open all of our national parks as quickly possible for everyone to enjoy and call on Congress to pass a clean continuing resolution to open the government."
Should the idiocy in our nation's capital subside prior to October 21, 2013, there will be no need to extend this or similar agreements.
Don't hold your breath.
Tags: Tourism, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, and Closings
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