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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defies NPS order to shut parks

- The Washington Times - Friday, October 4, 2013

National parks facing federal furlough orders may be shutting down around the nation, but not so in Wisconsin.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker said he's not closing the federal lands to visitors, in blatant defiance of the National Park Service's demand, Breitbart.com reported. The federal agency had specifically ordered park officials in Wisconsin to close doors on Kettle Moraine, Devil's Lake and Interstate parks, as well as sections of Horicon Marsh — sections that were owned by the state, no less — but Wisconsin authorities shunned the demand.

The state Department of Natural Resources said most of the Wisconsin's parks identified by the federal agency for closure get most of their money from local taxpayers, not federal coffers. Park authorities said they're not complying with the federal order.

Wisconsin DNR said in a statement: "All state parks, trails and other recreational properties [are] open and not affected by the federal government's budget problems."

Mr. Walker's not alone with his fight with the federal park authorities over government shutdown orders. The privately owned Mount Vernon, the Virginia home of George Washington, expressed outrage when the NPS placed road blocks at the entryway to its parking lot this week. Mount Vernon officials said the entire estate is privately funded and operated — except a small portion of the parking lot, which the feds tried to keep closed.

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