If – God forbid – Congress ever forces another government shutdown, states could continue to operate national parks under recently introduced legislation. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Ut.) introduced the Provide Access and Retain Continuity (PARC) Act (H.R. 3311), referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
The bill became available online on Saturday, Oct. 26. You can read it at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.3311:.
It picked up no original cosponsors.
It would allow states to immediately open national parks if they pay for the operations. They would have to make agreements with the U.S. Department of the Interior, though. They would later get reimbursed by the federal government. During the recent shutdown, some states opened parks on the 12th day.
The bill would only apply to facilities that create significant economic impacts, such as tourism.
In a prepared statement, Stewart said “there is no reason that hardworking American families and communities should be punished due to circumstances over which they have no control.” Read Stewart's remarks at HTTP://stewart.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/stewart-introduces-legislation-to-prevent-park-closures-in-the-event-of.