WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration says it will allow states to use their own money to reopen some national parks that have been closed because of the government shutdown.
Governors in at least four states have asked for authority to reopen national parks within their borders because of the economic impacts caused by the park closures.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a letter Thursday to governors in Utah and other states that the government will consider offers to pay for park operations, but will not surrender control of national parks to the states.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has said his state has resources that could be used to operate the parks if federal funding is not available. Governors of South Dakota, Arizona and Colorado have made similar requests.
We asked Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam's office if this was a possibility. Press Secretary Dave Smith said in an emai, "Our office is working with the Congressional delegation to gather more information about this. One of the many factors to consider is that the four large national areas (the Smokies, Big South Fork, Shiloh, and Chickamauga) in our state straddle Tennessee's border with neighboring states."
We'll keep you updated.