The Obama administration has announced that it will allow states to open national parks that have been closed due to the shutdown. Utah, South Dakota, Arizona and Colorado have asked for the authority to reopen their parks using their own money, citing economic loss from the closures. Below is a statement from Defenders of Wildlife president and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark:
“The Administration has made an unfortunate mistake in agreeing to a piecemeal approach to the government shutdown. Our citizens, furloughed federal employees and communities need an across-board solution that reopens all of our federal lands to the American public, instead of an approach that only benefits a few states that can afford to foot the bill for a park or two. This debate is a microcosm of the larger budget show down.
“Our federal natural resource agencies, already experiencing severe budget cuts, have had to waste weeks and precious taxpayer dollars planning for this shutdown. Every day it continues is a day wasted for the conservation of our nation’s lands, waters and wildlife.”
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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org  and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.