“We are taking this extraordinary step to ensure that parks are protected, and that visitors can continue to access parks with limited basic services,” said P. Daniel Smith, NPS deputy director.
WASHINGTON — In an unprecedented move, the National Park Service will tap into visitor fees to pay for staffing as an ongoing partial government shutdown has left some of the nation’s most iconic parks understaffed and ill-maintained.
P. Daniel Smith, NPS deputy director, said in a statement Sunday that money siphoned off from entrance fees would be used to bring in workers to maintain restrooms, clean up trash and patrol the parks.
He acknowledged that the Trump administration’s decision to keep the parks open yet understaffed during the budget impasse was no longer workable. During past shutdowns, national parks had been completely closed to the public.