The government shutdown will force national parks across the country to close, but Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) said that the Grand Canyon is not a top “priority” for the Grand Canyon State.
As a shutdown appeared imminent Monday, Brewer was asked how the situation would affect the Grand Canyon.
“I don’t know if the Grand Canyon is a priority for the State of Arizona,” Brewer said. “We have a lot of other priorities out there, like our National Guardsmen, children, and people that will be hurting desperately if we don’t get something done.”
“The Grand Canyon is important,” she added after being pressed by a reporter. “I told my cabinet today that if they have a plan they want to present to me, I would absolutely look at it and if we can do anything, we will, if it’s financially sound and good for the State of Arizona.”
When the government shut down in 1995, Arizona’s Republican governor at the time, Fife Symington, ordered National Guard troops to the Grand Canyon to serve in lieu of furloughed National Park Service employees. But the Department of Interior immediately ordered him to stop.
The latest shutdown will force employees of Grand Canyon National Park to clear out their files and leave the premises on Tuesday, but the Associated Press reported that visitors who are already hiking or camping in the park will be allowed to complete their stay.