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In Brief

Some National Parks Could Reopen With State Funds

thor's hammer in bryce canyon
This iconic, balanced rock in Bryce Canyon is called Thor's Hammer. In Norse mythology, Thor is the god of thunder, and his hammer is a feared weapon that can wipe out mountains, or at least make a racket. (Image credit: NPS)

States with enough cash to run a national park may get to reopen their scenic parks in a deal with the Department of Interior, the Associated Press reported today (Oct. 10). Four states — Utah, Colorado, Arizona and South Dakota — have asked to pay for the parks because of the economic impact of the closures. The agreement would let states fully fund park operations, but keep the National Park Service in control.

The financial blow from the government shutdown hit hard in the West, coming during peak fall travel season. The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees estimates the national parks and surrounding communities are losing $76 million in spending each day during the shutdown. Businesses outside of California's Yosemite National Park are suffering a double loss, as tourists were just starting to return after the massive Rim Fire in September.

Read more: Associated Press

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Becky Oskin
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.