Governor vows to use state funds to keep Zion, other parks open during possible government shutdown

Process may be similar to previous federal shutdowns.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Zion National Park visitors take pictures at the iconic park entrance sign, Sept. 26, 2021.

St. George • Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said Thursday he and state legislators are working on a plan to keep the state’s national parks open even through a possible federal government shutdown at the end of the month.

That includes Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks in Southern Utah.

At the same time, the governor decried as “stupid” that some members of Congress are holding up the budget process and are vowing to shut the government down at the end of the day on Sept. 30.

The governor said the process would be the same as what was enacted during the last major government shutdown in late 2018 when state and local funding kept Zion and other Utah national parks open.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at his monthly news conference in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023.

During the Thursday taping of the monthly PBS Utah Governor’s Press Conference program in Salt Lake City, Cox said being in St. George this week was a reminder to state legislators of the importance of the national parks to the area.

Read more at stgeorgeutah.com.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.