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Arizona Spent $193,000 To Keep Grand Canyon Open During Shutdown

The state of Arizona spent $193,151.28 to insure the Grand Canyon National Park wouldn’t close during the recent 35-day partial federal government shutdown.

After 2018’s three-day government shutdown, Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order, saying the state would give about $64,000 a week to the park to cover basic services. The money comes from the state’s parks and tourism budgets.

When the shutdown entered its third week, the National Parks Service started using visitor fees to cover basic operating costs and payments from the state stopped.

Visitor fees usually go to long term park enhancements rather than daily upkeep.

The Grand Canyon Conservancy, a nonprofit, also donated about $5,000 and their staff ran junior ranger programs and handed out maps while National park rangers were furloughed.

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Claire Caulfield first joined KJZZ as an intern in 2015 and now wakes up before the sun to produce and report for Morning Edition. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2017 and covered education policy in the nation's capital, election night in New York City and Native American issues for Cronkite News/ Arizona PBS. Before joining the Morning Edition team, she also worked on a documentary about rap music in the deep South and directed a film on drinking-water quality in the United States.On the weekends, you can find Claire flying her photography drone or working her way through the Pulitzer Prize book list.