Bryce Canyon National Park Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park Utah

It didn’t take long for National Park Service employees to begin opening closed gates and taking down barricades after Utah wired a $1.7 million loan early Friday. The loan is enough to keep five national parks and three national monuments open for 10 days.

“This is a practical and temporary solution that will lessen the pain for some businesses and communities in Utah during this shutdown,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a release Friday afternoon. “We want to reopen 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.”

It will take an act of Congress to approve repayment of the loan. The Utah Legislature, which will meet in special session Wednesday, could approve money to keep the areas open beyond the initial 10 days.

The loan allows Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef national parks to open, along with Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Natural Bridges and Cedar Breaks national monuments. Herbert said in a tweet Friday afternoon that campground reservations at the reopened parks will be honored beginning Saturday.

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