UtahPolicy.com/KSL Insider Poll: Was Loaning the Feds Money to Open Utah’s National Parks a Good Move?

Utah loaned money to the federal government in order to open the state’s national parks during the government shutdown. Our “political insiders” and readers weigh in on whether that was a good decision.


Do you think it was a good decision for Utah to loan money to the federal government in order to re-open the state’s national parks? | Create infographics

Selected anonymous comments:

“Remember the old maxim: You get what you pay, in this case, vote, for. We teach our children that there are consequences for their actions, yet as adults we prove that we don’t think it applies to us. We send obstructionists back to Washington and are surprised when their actions hurt us. So, they shut down the government and we are surprised when our National Parks are closed, tourism plummets, and the economy of the areas around those parks takes a hit. Incredible! I’m reminded of the business owner in one of those rural areas who fired an employee after the election because he suspected the person voted for the President. He thought it was a fine joke! It wasn’t – it was a person’s life and livelihood he was playing games with because he didn’t like the way the election went. So, while I’m sorry that people were hurt during the shutdown (especially the federal workers), I have little sympathy for those who continue to support the ‘temper tantrum method’ of governing that this shutdown exemplified. Our country was built on compromise. It’s too bad Congress has chosen to forget that.”

“Sometimes, appearance is everything. Utah wanted to give the appearance they were doing something.”

“The economy of rural Utah is greatly dependent upon tourism especially in the fall. This boost to those communities is very important. I think, however, that all expenses will end up to be on the state. That said, I still think it was the correct step to take.”

“This was a surprising win for Governor Herbert, who really hasn’t been that innovative in other areas. This was a great idea and apparently well executed. Kudos to Herbie!”

“Herbert working with Sally Jewell is a case study in cooperation. Congress, take note.”

“While we as a state need to be ready to provide services and help when the federal government is not there for our citizens, I believe we need to be more methodical about doing triage like this in the future. I think there are businesses who are not associated with the hospitality industry who were also adversely affected by the shutdown; why didn’t we help them?”

“It was huge for the economy, great advertising, and sent the message the feds and everyone watching that the states can do it better.”

“I think Utah should have spent more energy and perhaps money on sending a strong message to Sen. Lee, Rep. Chaffetz, and Rep. Bishop that their actions have already cost the state a lot more money than they would lose in tourist dollars from park visitors. Then the state could send all 3 the bill for the lost tourist revenue.”

“The unknown length of the shut down necessitated action. Surrounding communities were suffering huge economic losses and a prolonged lack of response could have caused permanent damage to many businesses and towns.”

“I think that the State of Utah ought to own and manage those parks anyways. No need for the federal government to even be involved.”

“Congrats to Governor Herbert for working smart and fast to make that happen. It helped everyone here in Utah.”

“This was a masterstroke by Herbert.”

“Opening the Parks was a help to local economies. Plus it lifted the state’s spirits with a healthy dose of common sense and practical problem solving that stands in stark contrast to the dysfunction in DC.”

“Until you can fix the broken system, you have to work with what you have. It was a good move by the state and shows that maybe Utah really is the responsible party in the land management game.”

“Even if the State never sees a dime of the $1.6M it loaned to the federal government, it was money very well spent. The State of Utah demonstrated its commitment to tourism and can tout that commitment to the outdoor retailer and tourism industries. Foreign tourists headed to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone wound up in Zion and Bryce. News viewers all over the world saw images of Delicate Arch when news outlets covered the story. Governor Herbert hit a home run and secured his image as a pragmatic and effective leader.”

“I’m conflicted, but in the end it was probably good for the state to see just how much time, effort, and money goes into maintaining and operating those facilities. Maybe it will decrease the insane push to take over all federal lands in the state.”

“So the Federal government operates the parks, with our Federal tax dollars and user fees. The State of Utah bears little to no expense related to these parks, and yet reaps sales taxes and tourism benefits from these parks for decades. Then, in a jam, we have to pitch in and support those parks we have gained tax and tourist dollars from for a few days to save Utah based businesses – and there’s even a question of whether or not we should do it? This Republican says yes, ‘loan’ the government the money and keep the parks open.”

“Yes, but it gave the on-the-hill gang the ridiculous impression that they were better at running the National Parks than the NPS.”

“It was a moment of good policy but I fear the motives were poor. The GOP will use this as yet another reason to hate DC. That style hate has divided the country. That style of hate is what got us hear in the first place.”

“If Gov Herbert didn’t already have the rural Utah vote locked up he does now for sure!”

“We shouldn’t have loaned them the money. We should have just sent in the UT National Guard and opened them at our expense without given the feds anything.”


Respondents include – 

Fred Adams, Stuart Adams, Jess Agraz, Scott Anderson, Laura Arellano, Patrice Arent, Bette Arial, Neil Ashdown, Bruce Baird, Heather Barney, Steve Barth, Jeff Bell, Tom Berggren, Mike Bertelsen, Ron Bigelow, Emily Bingham-Hollingshead, Rob Bishop, Laura Black, Nanci Bockelie, Charles Bradley, Jim Bradley, Ralph Brown, Chris Bleak, Curt Bramble, Joel Briscoe, Ralph Brown, Aaron Browning, Ken Bullock, Ric Cantrell, Maura Carabello, Marty Carpenter, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Kay Christensen, David Clark, Kim Coleman, Peter Corroon, Tim Cosgrove, Fred Cox, Lew Cramer, Gene Davis, Richard Davis, Brad Daw, Alan Dayton, Margaret Dayton, Mike Deaver, Brad, Dee, Joseph Demma, Jake Dennis, Dan Deuel, Jeff Dixon, Brian Doughty, Carl Downing, Randy Dryer, Susan Duckworth, Donald Dunn, Alan Eastman, Becky Edwards, Scott Ericson, Chase Everton, Jessica Fawson, Janice Fisher, Wendy Fisher, Lorie Fowlke, Ronald Fox, Claire Francis, Ryan Frandsen, Adam Gardiner, Jordan Garn, Ernie Gamonal, Luke Garrott, Dave Gessel, Sheryl Ginsberg, Natalie Gochnour, Robert Grow, Karen Hale, David Hansen, Neil Hansen, Joe Hatch, Jeff Hartley, Dan Hauser, Lynn Hemmingway, Deidre Henderson, Neal Hendrickson, Casey Hill, Lyle Hillyard, Kory Holdaway, Randy Horiuchi, Ben Horsley, Bruce Hough, Scott Howell, Greg Hughes, Miriam Hyde, Allison Isom, Casey Jackson, Eric Jergensen, Mike Jerman, Jonathan Johnson, Michael Jolley, Gordon Jones, Leslie Jones, Pat Jones, Kirk Jowers, Jeremy Keele, Brian King, Scott Konopasek, Steve Kroes, Chris Kyler, Carter Livingston, Fred Lampropoulos, Clark Larsen, Douglas Larson, David Litvack, Larry Lunt, Matt Lyon, Ben McAdams, Daniel McCay, Gayle McKeachnie, JT Martin, Maryann Martindale, Jason Mathis, Bob Mayhew, Karen Mayne, Bret Milburn, Derek Miller, Rob Miller, Ethan Millard, Brett Millburn, Karen Morgan, Jeffery Morton, Mike Mower, Holly Mullen, Wayne Niederhauser, Mike Noel, Randy O’Hara, Ralph Okerlund, James Olsen, Val Oveson, Kelly Patterson, John Pearce, Helen Peters, Karen Peterson, Frank Pignanelli, Becky Pirente, Marie Poulson, Jason Powers, Tami Pyfer, Joe Pyrah, Mike Reberg, Jill Remington Love, Lauren Richards, Holly Richardson, Robin Riggs, James Roberts, Luz Robles, Ross Romero, Carol Sapp, Don Savage, Bryan Schott, Shauna Scott-Bellaccomo, Jay Seegmiller, Jennifer Seelig, Patrick Shea, Randy Shumway, Soren Simonsen, Jeremy Slaughter, Brendan Smith, Brian Somers, Carol Spackman-Moss, Robert Spendlove, Barbara Stallone, Howard Stephenson, David Stringfellow, Mike Styler, Shinika Sykes, Juliette Tennert, Gary Thorup, Kevin Van Tassell, Royce Van Tassel, Doug Thompson, Michael Waddoups, Laura Warburton, Chuck Warren, Christine Watkins, LaVarr Webb, Todd Weiler, Alan West, Mark Wheatley, Larry Wiley, Ted Wilson, Carl Wimmer, Mike Winder, Travis Wood, Thomas Wright, Crystal Young-Otterstrom

Results from the UtahPolicy.com/KSL Insider poll can be heard on KSL Radio every Friday and are published on Utah Policy.com every Monday.