Will Hawaii consider re-opening national parks?
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Thursday she will consider allowing governors to fund national parks so that some can reopen to visitors.
So will Hawaii be one of those states?
"We would have questions in regards to what the costs would be, the staffing requirements, and whether we'd be reimbursed," said acting Governor Shan Tsutsui.
In addition to those concerns, Tsutsui is worried about other services the state provides.
"One of the things we're concerned about is if the government shutdown continues for a prolonged period of time, that it could start to impact some of these government programs and services that are technically state employees but are federally funded."
While other states depend heavily on their national parks for the majority of their tourism dollars, Hawaii isn't one of them.
"The numbers we're getting from the Hawaii Tourism Authority show us that visitors are still visitors are still coming to Hawaii. I think they're still really enjoying their experience. There are many wonderful things that Hawaii has to offer, so we look at this as an opportunity for our visitors to explore different things that Hawaii has to offer" added Tsutsui.
The state will continue to monitor the situation, and is approaching the possibility with a healthy dose of caution. However, it isn't ruling the possibility out entirely.
"We're certainly going to find out what they have in mind. Obviously it's important--not only for the residents but the visitors who come and visit us so we'll continue to engage with them. So, we will continue to engage with them and if there is a way, we will entertain that option."
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