Critics are accusing the Obama administration of using park closures as a political ploy to make the public feel the pain of the shutdown. On Twitter, tweets using hashtags such as #OccupyAmerica and #YesWeCone urge Americans to push back. In a few places, including Gettysburg and Zion National Park, protesters have openly defied warnings not to enter.
The latest wrinkle
Thursday, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the agency is willing to let states re-open some parks, as long as the states pay to operate them. Friday, Utah paid $1.67 million to reopen eight national parks and other sites for up to 10 days.
No dice. “The state has not received any correspondence from the federal government on this issue,” Brian Robinson, the spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal, wrote in an email Friday. “While we don’t want to see national parks in Georgia closed, the state is not able to cover the costs of keeping those venues open.”