Zion ‘occupied’ as national park reopens to happy visitors, locals; STGnews Videocast

SPRINGDALE – Last Saturday it was Occupy Zion. This Saturday it was Zion occupied thanks to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

Governor Herbert struck a deal with the federal government that would allow Utah state funds be used to open the national park and monuments in Utah. Friday afternoon the gates began to swing open to park visitors.

This is a completely different world,” Public Information Officer Aly Baltrus said, comparing this Saturday to last Saturday’s Occupy Zion, when a small group of protesters ignored the closed gate and entered the park. “It is so nice to be open and let people in.”

Story continues below

Videocast by John Teas, St. George News

Everything is back to normal. The visitor’s center, museum and campgrounds are open. The south campground opened on Friday afternoon and Watchman campground opened on Saturday afternoon. With the camping reservations being a national system, a work-around had to be found before Watchman campground could be ready for campers. The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway is also open to all traffic.

I think that governor deserves incredible kudos,Sharon Fortune, of Stowe, Vt., said. “And I think every person; every staffer that works for him deserves kudos for figuring out a way to make this work for the people that come here. And also for the people that work here and their livelihood depends on it. It’s a perfect time and it’s your high tourism season and good for him.”

We were in Bryce yesterday but it didn’t open until afternoon but unfortunately we were there in the morning,” said Norman Spicher from Pennsylvania. “If the fine governor here in Utah hadn’t got this open (Zion), I don’t know what we would have done today.”

Last week there were people from around the globe that were disappointed. This week that was not the case. Terry and Roseanne Bellner from Monroe, Mich., have been planning a 12-day tour of the western United States for over a year.

As a Vietnam Vet, this would probably be my only chance to see these sights,” Terry Bellner said. “We are staying at the lodge and after going through the museum we will head north to the lodge for lunch.”

Tara Dunn, who is running for a seat on the St. George City Council, and State Sen. Steve Urquhart, came out to Zion to go for a walk. Urquhart had originally planned to walk into a closed park as a sign of civil disobedience and protest against the shutdown. Instead, he and those invited to join in the protest-turned-pleasant-stroll entered an opened and state-funded park.

It’s good to have the Park opened,” Urquhart said. “The sad thing is that it didn’t need to be closed. The feds easily could have struck an agreement to keep it open on Day One. But first it had to score cheap political points.”

I am happy to be here to celebrate the re-opening of Zion, and afterwards to go grab a bite at a café and support the local economy,” Dunn said. “Zion being open certainly is in the best interest of the Springdale community, and even has a positive effect on our community.  Kudos to the state of Utah for negotiate its reopening.”

Funds have only been appropriated through Oct. 20. The campground may close again due to possible lapse in funding, though Herbert has said the state may continue to fund the parks and monuments on a day-by-day basis. 

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

Related posts:

Email: jteas@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Visitors waiting for Zion National Park to open after nearly two weeks of being closed due to the partial government shutdown, Zion National Park, Utah, Oct. 12, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Visitors waiting for Zion National Park to open after nearly two weeks of being closed due to the partial government shutdown, Zion National Park, Utah, Oct. 12, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

10 Comments

  • truthseeker October 13, 2013 at 1:44 am

    Shouldn’t have been closed in the first place. 83% of the govt is operating during the supposed “shut down”. That tells me its illegitimate. Especially, since the things being closed down and the cuts that are being made, are all to negatively effect people which makes it seem worse than it is. It makes it look like govt is pinching pennies when in all actuality, the parks, monuments, and memorials are a fraction of what they spend on stuff we don’t need. And as far as the memorials, it cost more to barricade and have armed guards arresting veterans than it costs to let them walk the memorial. What a joke. It’s hyped up political theater. Why do people keep hitting the snooze button?.
    P.S. To the people wanting to respond saying who’s fault it is, save it bcus the democrat republican blame game doesn’t matter. The left right paradigm is a false construct.

    • Ken October 13, 2013 at 8:00 am

      “And as far as the memorials, it cost more to barricade and have armed guards arresting veterans than it costs to let them walk the memorial. What a joke. It’s hyped up political theater” Your comment is NOTHING but political hyperbole! You don’t seek any truth you just banter BS that fits your slanted views!

  • Karen October 13, 2013 at 6:54 am

    From the article above, State Sen. Steve Urquhart is quoted as saying “the feds easily could have struck an agreement to keep it open on Day One.” I wish he would have let everyone know what great idea he had that would have accomplished that task. Too bad he didn’t tell Gov. Herbert about his solution before our Gov. had to wire a couple million dollars to DC to open up our parks.

  • Ken October 13, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Well Dunn and Pike just lost my vote by aligning themselves State Sen. Steve Urquhart. Very poor political move for both. State Sen. Steve Urquhart used his position to fracture this city not bring it together. I had hoped these two were a change but they aren’t just the same type people who alrady have! TARA yes you are a “good ol boy” way to blow it!

  • truthseeker October 14, 2013 at 3:52 am

    To Ken Boy, are you saying that what I said isn’t true? Did you try seeing if what I said was true before you judge it as slanted view? And I don’t mean looking at the mainstream media. Try investigative and independent journalists that are bringing a lot to light. My opinions are meaningless when it comes to the necessity of truth… It wasn’t political hyperbole, its not a political problem, its a social problem. I made a point based on what happened last week. Oh wait, update, did you catch the news today about the veterans makin a million man march? primarily bcus of what I previously commented on? Am I so full of it or do you fail to look at the essentially objective information?

  • Ken October 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    There was no one arrested as you put it and the republicans who shut down the government made the whole thing into a big photo and chest thumping fiasco. This had nothing to with the Vets and was about the Republicans trying to save face because to there major blunder! I felt ashamed they used the Vets as political pawns

  • truthseeker October 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Ken Boy, I have links on the veterans issues at memorials and the arrests. I was also compliling other shutdown articles to show you some things. Check back late tonight or in the morning.

  • truthseeker October 16, 2013 at 4:27 am

    Since you were unaware and needed proof of things, here is some links. These aren’t my views, as you stated my views are slanted. The fact is, my views are meaningless. What I said is happening and if you get news from the mainstream media then you will remain uninformed.
    The memorials all over the country are open space structures, free to walk around, outdoor type areas. They don’t cost money to remain open. However, it costs money to barricade them and guard them. How can you justify closing a memorial bcus of a supposed govt shutdown?

    DAY ONE of govt shutdown. Oct 1st. Vets already in the mix.
    http://freebeacon.com/wwii-vets-knock-over-shutdown-barrier-to-visit-wwii-memorial/

    Veterans were arrested during this shutdown at this memorial.
    http://www.infowars.com/police-arrest-veterans-at-nyc-memorial/

    “A NaturalNews Article”.
    http://www.infowars.com/obama-administration-deliberately-blocked-access-to-veterans-memorials-in-order-to-make-shutdown-appear-worse/

    Via William Jacobson, NBC’s affiliate in Washington, D.C. reports that police ordered tourists and Vietnam war veterans who were visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to leave the memorial at one point on Friday
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/nbc-police-remove-vietnam-war-veterans-memorial-wall_759267.html

    Join the march on Sunday the 13th!
    http://m.naturalnews.com/news/04245%39_Million_Vet_March_government_shutdown_veteran_memorials.html

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/joe-biden-backs-park-ranger-who-stopped-%20vets-at-wwii-memorial/article/2536812

    Photographic evidence of vets removing barricades and riot police present. This has been an issue since day one of the supposed “govt shutdown”.
    http://www.infowars.com/breaking-riot-police-confront-veterans-as-they-liberate-memorials/

  • truthseeker October 16, 2013 at 4:31 am

    More on the shutdown.
    What gives a govt authority to shut down private property during a supposed “govt shutdown”?
    http://www.infowars.com/barrycades-government-tries-to-shut-down-privately-owned-mount-vernon/

    OffGrid Survival article. Listen to the officer at the end of the video. He doesnt even know what he is saying.- “The rangers are manning the access points of a “”!privately owned business!”” bcus according to the “!federal govt!” , the business is closed”. What sense does it make for a federal entity to rule over private one like this during a contrived shut down? The road was still open for travelers and therefore the business on the road shall be able to accept the business of travelers. People need to stop hitting the snooze button and wake up. The “shutdown” is hyped up political theater.
    http://www.infowars.com/armed-rangers-sent-to-shutdown-businesses-feds-order-arrests-247-patrols-in-national-parks/

    More on the shut down.
    Feds closing highways to prevent law biding citizens from getting to DC.
    http://www.naturalnews.com/042406_truck_drivers_us_constitution_oaths_of_office.html
    http://www.infowars.com/report-feds-order-national-guard-to-close-i-495-to-derail-trucker-protest/

    Closing down parks and doing this to visitors is uncalled for. Also, the negative impact the shutdown has on communities surrounding the parks which depend on tourism for income, are now sufferring. More on that in other links I have. Multiple counties in Utah declared a state of emergency.
    http://www.infowars.com/feds-treated-senior-citizens-like-terrorists-during-national-park-shutdown/

    More senior citizens roughed up at Yellowstone. AmeriKan Gestapo Style
    http://www.naturalnews.com/042408_government_shutdown_yellowstone_national_park_senior_citizens.html

    Jogger fined on a routine jogging route. It’s ridiculous that people think its okay for this to happen. This country is allowing tyranny to happen.
    http://m.naturalnews.com/news/04240%39_government_shutdown_jogger_punitive_fine.html

    Executive branches’ punitive shutdown is the final straw and ultimate betrayal of the people of this country.
    http://m.naturalnews.com/news/042458_Obama_war_memorials_government_shutdown.html

    Civil Disobedience at its finest. Govt stops lawn care services, yet continues death causing services over seas. Lawn care cost absolutely nothing compared to the billions spent in unnecessary military costs and wars.
    http://www.infowars.com/shutdown-defiance-citizen-mows-lincoln-memorial-lawn/

    This is appalling. Kids get coerced to goto war but then when they die, the ruthless criminals in power that sent them, don’t have the decency to pay for thier funerals? .. but they can spend money to send over more tanks and bombs though huh?- makes no sense
    http://www.infowars.com/govt-shutdown-denies-military-families-money-for-funerals/

    Parks and monuments dont need to be shut down when they spend billions on things we don’t need. It’s all to make people think they are pinching pennies and doing somethng about it. This is ‘govern’-‘mental’ (control of the mind), by the government.

    A park ranger was ordered to make the lives of people miserable bcus of this hyped up theatrical shutdown. I’d be willing to bet he will get fired or docked pay for coming forward with the info. It’s not like anythng I say is a secret or made up out of thin air.
    http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/3/pruden-the-cheap-tricks-of-the-game/

    Another Washington Times article. Rand Paul’s response.
    http://www.infowars.com/paul-obamas-response-to-shutdown-is-just-shut-up/

    If there are any questions of it being hyped up by the govt, then it could be summed up by saying- the executive branch was asking for sad stories. Hello- if its still not clear to the sheeple in their slumber, then they are dreaming and will awake to a bitter reality soon.
    http://m.washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-asking-for-sad-shutdown-stories/article/2536836

    Im not religious, but if priests aren’t allowed to conduct church or face being locked up, then we are moving into an authoritarian dictatorship. Period. Or we already are one in disguise which is more like it.
    http://www.infowars.com/priests-threatened-with-arrest-if-they-minister-to-military-during-shutdown/

    http://www.infowars.com/less-tweets-due-to-govt-shutdown-first-lady-tells-legion-of-fake-followers/

    http://www.infowars.com/obamacare-shutdown-theater-president-holds-entire-nation-ransom-with-contrived-closings/

    http://www.infowars.com/members-of-congress-seen-partying-drinking-on-capitol-hill-all-week-during-shutdown/

    http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/10/government_shutdown_cdc_will_b.html

    Martial to end shutdown?- regardless of its meaning, it sounds like they are taking it too far.
    http://www.infowars.com/dem-congresswoman-suggests-martial-law-to-end-government-shutdown/

    The term “shutdown” is the wrong word. How can a govt shutdown and why is.t it when they say it is a “shutdown”?- the explanation is that is the wrong word to call it. It’s a scare tactic. Govts and corporations love frightened, easy to control people.
    http://www.infowars.com/government-shutdown-36-facts-which-prove-that-almost-everything-is-still-running/

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-waste-list-66-crazy-ways-that-the-u-s-government-is-wasting-your-hard-earned-money

    http://www.infowars.com/the-real-crisis-is-not-the-government-shutdown/

    85% of govt still operating. That means its not shutdown. Haha
    http://www.naturalnews.com/042437_government_shutdown_Obama_administration_federal_finances.html

    This is incredible. Can anyone else see the fear mongering going on with the supposed govt shut down. The govt still functions and operates, but they choose to shut down things like parks and monuments. Veterans that have travelled thousands of miles to see the war memorials in D.C. and tourist travelling from all over the world to see the nationals parks, are finding there are barricades set up and are being arrested if they walk the memorials or enter the parks. Folks, it doesn’t take much monetary resources to keep monuments like this open and parks open. . Meanwhile, the govt builds a single $100000 outhouse in Alaska, spends $2 billion on a domestic spying complex in SLC. They can let trillions be looted from the treasury and bailout criminal banks, but some how things that cost only thousands get shut down? They can spend billions on unnecessary things but make the govt shut down seem legit by shutting down things like this. Ha. Does it not sound odd to you? The rest of the world is scratching their heads by the way. How does the supposed richest and best(not) country in the world have govt shut downs when they have had the highest budgets and spending in history of the world?- it’s a joke. Wake up people. This makes no sense. If the media hypes it up, its usually for an ulterior reason. Forget about the games congress plays with eachother and the imaginary money called debt, and it’s supposed cieling or cliff. It’s just a show. We can negotiate with criminals, terrorists and tyrants abroad, yet we can’t negotiate with our own fellow Americans? Time to transcend this system and govern ourselves. It sounds like the back and forth with no resolution is a way to get people even more disinterested in politics so people begin to care less. Which invites tyranny closer to its goal. I say people should prepare themselves with food, water and ammo. Let the govt default. If it was a dying hospital patient, the plug wouldve been pulled by now. It’s a manipulated monetary system anyway. When govts go bankrupt like domino rally, its no coincidence. Its to bring in a a global economy and implement a new world reserve currency or a single currency overall. The men behind this are just waiting until a total surveillance grid is in place and all the pawns are in place for civil unrest. The economy can flourish when the money masters want it to and it can collapse like any designed implosion- (like the WTC twin towers- world trade collapsed on 9/11, which was a kick off celebration by the elite rulers of the world. Its more than symbolism though). Moving on. It’s no coincidence that the economic downturn is a “global” economic crisis. Too bad its based off of imagined debt which doesn’t exist in the physical reality. The debt we see came from money that didn’t actually exist. It’s a fraud and whoever designed that should be held accountable. Not to mention a global derivatives debt of $500 trillion(yes I wrote it correctly) is enough to bankrupt the world ten times over. How is that even possible without fraudulent activity going on somewhere? Mind.boggling.

  • truthseeker October 16, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    P.S. Ken, the Republicans didn’t cause the shutdow. You should understand that globalist rulers that have hijacked this nation, use debt crisises to bring nations to their knees. It’s a political take over by private banking consortiums. The same model, give out credit cards and enslave the public with debt. International bankers now lecture the country as if they weren’t designing the collapse. We’ve been maneuvered towards bankruptcy and they use debt limits to put us under deeper globalist control until taxes and horrid policies are raised sky high on purpose, but not to pay debt, but cripple us and it goes straight to the pockets of bankers. The system is designed to eliminate the middle class and make us dependent. It’s all legislatively written to shut things down. It’s not a coincidence that the debt resolution, obamacare, and govt shutdown happen all at once. Perfect timing to sell it to the people, while also dividing us. Every regime in history that takes utter dictatorial control, always knock out the middle class. The sheeple zombie class are a valuable tool to help support this agenda also. Way to go zombies.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.