In a statement released on Sunday, January 6, the National Park Service stated it is taking the step of dipping into entrance fees to help pay for staffing at highly visited parks as the partial government shutdown continues.
Deputy Director of the National Park Service, P. Daniel Smith, stated that the money taken would be used to help bring in additional staff to help with maintaining the restrooms cleaned, help plow roads, clear trash in the park as well as help patrol the park. Smith acknowledged that the Trump administration's choice to keep the parks open during the budget impasse was no longer viable, and now required more extreme measures.
National Parks have been relying heavily on help from local communities and non profits to keep the parks operational with the bare minimum of services.
Director Smith stated that the NPS is taking the step to help ensure that parks are protected as well as help maintain access to the parks available to the public with limited services running.
In a letter written in response to congressmen from the state of Utah's plea to look into funding the parks, Bernhardt stated, "This approach means that many of the burdens being born by local communities should be addressed by park service personnel within days."