Whatever the motivations of the swamp are this time around, the January 2018 government shutdown is going to have a different look. All other shutdowns resulting from political infighting have seen the closing of all “non-essential services” which generally resulted in the people’s treasures, the National Parks and Monuments, being off limits. Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke has other ideas.
Early in the morning [after the start of the shutdown], Zinke could be found cleaning up trash on the National Mall and welcoming tours of schoolchildren to the World War II memorial with a smile.
“We’re not putting up barricades,” Zinke told The Daily Caller in an interview. “Absolutely not. We’re passing out brochures until we run out of brochures. I’ll be out here everyday.”
What a refreshing change from the Obama years when the people were deprived of their own memorials, monuments, and other property.
In the first hours of the government shutdown Secretary Zinke was making plans for how to keep America’s public parks open. In the early hours of Saturday morning, Zinke met with public affairs and maintenance staff to run through a plan to keep memorials on the National Mall open. He then spoke with garbagemen who will be picking up trash on the Mall one last time before the city of D.C. takes over for them….
“The visitor experience will be diminished,” Zinke admitted, noting that some museums and public service will take a hit during the shutdown. “But to the degree possible, we will keep our public lands open. They should not be used as a political weapon.”
Zinke said public parks, monuments and the battlefields “belong to the people and not the government,” and noted that people will see a “significant difference” between the Trump administration and Obama’s in the way public lands are managed during a shutdown.
For that, the people are very grateful. In truth, much of the National Parks and other monuments that are not open air could well pay for themselves with proper management. Perhaps that is what we will see with Sec. Zinke in charge.