ARIZONA NEWS

Grand Canyon to remain open if government shuts down, Ducey says

Dec 21, 2018, 9:04 AM | Updated: 9:05 am
People walk outside of The U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Republican-led House ...

People walk outside of The U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018. Republican-led House approved funding for President Donald Trump's border wall in legislation that pushes the government closer to a partial government shutdown. The bill now goes to the Senate. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

PHOENIX — Arizonans who are planning to head to the Grand Canyon for the holidays will not need to cancel their plans in the event of a government shutdown.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Friday that his office was working with the National Park Service, Arizona Office of Tourism and Arizona State Parks to keep visitor services — including shuttles, trash removal and access to trails, campsites and restrooms — operational.

Public safety services will also continue at the Grand Canyon.

“Regardless of what happens in Washington, the Grand Canyon will not close on our watch,” Ducey said in a statement.

“Arizona knows how to work together. We have a plan in place and we’re ready to go. If you have plans to visit the Grand Canyon over the weekend, keep ‘em. The Grand Canyon will remain open.”

Ducey signed an executive order in February to establish the Grand Canyon Protection Plan in order to keep the park open in case of future federal shutdowns.

In case of a federal shutdown, all partner-run tours and other businesses, such as lodging, food, beverages and retail, will remain operational at the park.

A shutdown seemed likely early Friday, as President Donald Trump and Congress went back and forth over border wall funding before the midnight deadline.

The Senate was called back into session to consider a package approved by the House late Thursday that includes the $5.7 billion Trump wants for the border with Mexico.

Senators had passed their own bipartisan bill earlier in the week to keep the government running, with border security at existing levels, $1.3 billion, but no money for the wall. Both bills would extend government funding through Feb. 8.

The White House said Trump would not go to Florida on Friday as planned for the Christmas holiday if the government were shutting down.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Grand Canyon to remain open if government shuts down, Ducey says