National parks in Pa. to stay closed
Pennsylvania won't pay to reopen the 30 national parks within its domain during the federal shutdown even though the Obama administration gave states that option, a spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett's office said on Thursday.
Regardless, plans are moving forward for Gettysburg National Military Park to host events surrounding the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address on Nov. 19, said Gettysburg tourism representatives, who are optimistic the shutdown will end by then.
“We are staying the course,” said Cindy L. Small, spokeswoman for the Gettysburg Foundation, the nonprofit partner of Gettysburg National Military Park. The private foundation operates the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, which are open.
In response to the economic harm the national park closures are having on communities, the Department of the Interior will consider agreements with governors whose states can pay National Park Service personnel, department spokesman Blake Androff said in an email.
As of Thursday, the 10th day of the government shutdown, local economies had lost an estimated $750 million in visitor spending because of the closure of national parks across the country, according to the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, based in Tucson.
Based on 2005-10 data, the group estimates that the closure of the Gettysburg park resulted in a loss of at least 27,397 visitors and $1.8 million in spending in the community in the shutdown's first 10 days.
The Gettysburg park's economic impact was projected to increase to $750 million this year, compared to $605 million in 2011, because of anniversary events, said Carl Whitehill, spokesman for the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. The 2012 numbers aren't available yet.
Governors from four states made requests to open all or some of their national parks.
Pennsylvania won't because it is paying for vital safety and health programs, such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, for which the state would usually receive federal funding, said Jay Pagni, spokesman for Corbett's office.
If the shutdown lasts past the end of the month, the state might scale back or suspend programs that rely on federal funding, he said.
The state was allotted $20 billion in federal funding for mandatory and discretionary programs this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 12-year-old’s donated heart joins families, lets her memory live
- Pittsburgh police officers start wearing video cameras
- Executive order tightens security to combat identity fraud
- Former Rollier’s store to become art gallery, cafe
- Foundation donates $350K to revitalize facades in Downtown Pittsburgh
- Proposal to limit access divides Penn Hills, Homewood neighborhoods
- Allegheny County Council members outspend expense accounts
- Newsmaker: Thomas J. Usher
- City suspending trash collection Tuesday to honor slain worker
- Rules hamper Franklin Regional attack victim scholarships
- Legal titans prepared to tussle in Ferrante cyanide homicide trial