In the wake of the government shutdown, the Interior Department has a proposed plan on the table to help pay for the staffing of Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, and all other national parks here in South Dakota and across the country.

As KSFY TV reports, for the most part, national parks have remained open during the partial shutdown, but have needed to rely on outside help for security and upkeep.

Given the uncertainty of how long the shutdown will last, the Interior Department wants to dip into user fees, by utilizing Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement money to pay for staffing while the partial shutdown continues.

KSFY reports, a number of congressmen have asked Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to restart regular operations. Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana warned Bernhardt on Saturday, (January 5) of the "significant risk to property and public health" if proper funding is not restored.

Democrats want national parks fully opened. According to the KSFY report, Minnesota Democrat Betty McCollum, the incoming chair of the subcommittee overseeing Interior appropriations said, in a situation like this one, utilizing user fees is not acceptable, and more than likely violates the law.

South Dakota has a total of 7 national parks/monuments here in the state. The most famous being Mount Rushmore located in the Black Hills.

Source: KSFY TV

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