Governor Ducey Issues Executive Order to Create Grand Canyon Protection Plan

News Release

February 9, 2018

Plan Will Allow Predictability During Future Federal Government Shutdowns



PHOENIX — Following continued dysfunction in Washington, D.C., Governor Doug Ducey today issued an executive order to formalize plans to keep the Grand Canyon open during future federal government shutdowns.

The governor’s executive order establishes the Grand Canyon Protection Plan, and calls on Arizona State Parks and Trails to coordinate with the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service in creating it.

Governor Ducey instructed that the plan:
1. Outline a continuity of operations strategy for the Grand Canyon National Park;

2. Detail a process to determine the financial impact of the continuity of operations strategy;

3. And establish guidelines to facilitate a transfer of funds from the State of Arizona to the Department of Interior, as necessary to fund the continued operations of the Grand Canyon National Park.

“We will not let Washington’s lack of action prevent us from welcoming visitors to the Grand Canyon,” said Governor Ducey. “The Department of Interior, the National Park Service, and local communities have been excellent partners with the State of Arizona in keeping the Grand Canyon open in the face of chaos in Congress. We look forward to continuing that partnership, and this plan will ensure predictably.”

Last month, the State of Arizona successfully partnered with the Department of Interior to keep the Grand Canyon open during the federal government shutdown. At that time, Governor Ducey said, “The Grand Canyon will not close on our watch. Period.”

The Grand Canyon hosts more than six million visitors per year and is a major travel destination for visitors from around the world. These visitors spent nearly $650 million in the rural communities near the park in 2016, which supported nearly 10,000 jobs in the area and benefited the local economy in excess of $900 million.

A PDF of the executive order can be viewed here.
Text of the executive order can be viewed below.

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Executive Order 2018-01

Establishment of the Grand Canyon Protection Plan

WHEREAS, Arizona is the Grand Canyon State;

WHEREAS, the Grand Canyon is not only an Arizona treasure – it’s an international treasure,

WHEREAS, the Grand Canyon National Park attracts nearly 6 million visitors to the state every year;

WHEREAS,those visitors spent nearly $650,000,000 in communities near the park in 2016;

WHEREAS,  spending by these visitors supported nearly 10,000 jobs in the local area and cumulatively benefited the local economy in excess of $900,000,000;

WHEREAS, in January 2018, the United States Congress failed to do its job, resulting in a shutdown of the federal government;

WHEREAS, in light of these events, Arizona partnered with the Department of Interior and the National Park Service to keep the gates of the Grand Canyon National Park open and prevent Washington, D.C.’s lack of action from impacting Arizona;

WHEREAS, this isn’t the first time this has happened – and unfortunately, it likely won’t be the last;

WHEREAS, the Department of Interior and the National Park Service have proven to be excellent partners with Arizona in protecting the Grand Canyon during this shutdown;

WHEREAS, the City of Tusayan, and other local communities that depend on the Grand Canyon, have been part of this unified effort;

WHEREAS, the state of Arizona is prepared to provide resources and staffing to assist with Grand Canyon National Park operations during these incidents;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Douglas A. Ducey, Governor of the State of Arizona, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State, do hereby call for the establishment of the Grand Canyon Protection Plan and declare the following:

1.     The Director of Arizona State Parks and Trails, in coordination with the Department of Interior and the National Park Service, shall recommend a plan to continue operations of the Grand Canyon National Park during times of a federal government shutdown.

2.     The plan shall:

a.     Outline a continuity of operations strategy for the Grand Canyon National Park.

b.     Detail a process to engage the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting to determine the financial impact of the continuity of operations strategy.

c.     Establish guidelines to facilitate a transfer of funds from the State of Arizona to the Department of Interior, as necessary to fund the continued operations of the Grand Canyon National Park.

3.     The Director of the Arizona State Parks and Trails shall submit the recommendations to the Governor’s Office by March 1, 2018.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Arizona

                                                                                    G O V E R N O R

DONE at the Capitol in Phoenix on this Ninth day of February in the Year Two Thousand Eighteen and of the Independence of the United States of America the Two Hundred and Forty-Second.

ATTEST:       

         Secretary of State

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