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Parks need federal hand

Published October 19, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

John Swallow and Anthony Rampton rightly understand that communities near national parks have suffered in the government shutdown. Unfortunately their solution is without reason or merit ("National parks episode shows state better at managing public land," Opinion, Oct. 15).

The federal government has done a wonderful job of protecting our extraordinary landscapes and cultural icons for almost 100 years. Gateway communities have grown and prospered as more visitors from near and far explore these wonders. While Gov. Gary Herbert and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell have demonstrated a reasonable and common sense temporary Band Aid to keeping the parks open for visitors and businesses alike, it is not permanent solution.

The men and women of our National Park Service do a wonderful job as stewards of our parks. They help us to understand what we are experiencing and they help us to explore these places safely. There is absolutely nothing in this very welcome stop gap move that suggests the State of Utah could perform these tasks more effectively or efficiently.

These parks belong to all of us and it is clearly a federal responsibility. So it is time for Congress to do its job and reopen the government and the parks for the long term. We have seen way too much of this political grandstanding.

David Nimkin

Senior director, Southwest Region

National Parks Conservation Assn.

Salt Lake City