National Park Service Enters Agreement with State of South Dakota to Re-open Mount Rushmore

Park Service is in the process of negotiating similar agreements with other states

Last edited 4/26/2016

The National Park Service today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the State of South Dakota that will allow Mount Rushmore National Memorial to re-open and temporarily operate during the government shutdown.

Due to the lack of appropriations from Congress, the Department of the Interior was forced to close all national parks across the country last week and furlough more than 20,000 National Park Service employees who ensure the safety of visitors and the security of the resources.

Responding to the economic impacts that the park closures are having on many communities and local businesses, Secretary of the Interior Jewell announced yesterday that she will consider agreements with Governors who indicate an interest and ability to fully fund National Park Service personnel to re-open national parks in their states.

"This is a practical and temporary solution that will lessen the pain for some businesses and communities in South Dakota during this shutdown," said Secretary Sally Jewell. "We want to re-open all of our national parks as quickly possible for everyone to enjoy and call on Congress to pass a clean continuing resolution to open the government."

Under the terms of the agreement, South Dakota will donate funds to the National Park Service for the sole purpose of enabling National Park Service employees to re-open and manage Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The agreement funds the park for a period of 10 days, running from October 14 through October 23 at the donated amount of $152,000.