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Utah national parks will stay open in shutdown sans rangers

January 19, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah officials say the state’s five national parks will still be accessible if the federal government shuts down after failing to reach a budget deal by midnight Friday.

Utah Office of Tourism managing director Vicki Varela says her office and the superintendents of Utah’s parks discussed contingency plans Friday afternoon and expect parks to be open but with minimal services.

Varela says visitors’ centers will be closed and snowplowing will be limited.

There will also be no park rangers on duty, which means visitors should exercise caution and those who experience an emergency will be best served by finding cellphone service and calling 911 rather than trying to flag down a ranger for help.

Entry gates will be left open but stations nearby where park rangers typically collect park entry fees will be unstaffed.

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