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Beltway Confidential

Scott Walker refuses federal order to close state parks

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Wisconsin,Analysis,Scott Walker,Government Shutdown,National Park Service

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has officially rebuffed a request from National Park Service to close several state park sites. In rejecting the order, Walker explained that the Badger State, not the feds, provides the majority of the parks' funding so there is no need for a closure.

The feds ordered Wisconsin officials to close the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine, Devil's Lake, and Interstate state parks and the state-owned portion of the Horicon Marsh, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

The state Department of Natural Resources not only ignored the orders but also removed a barricade federal officials had put before a Mississippi boat launch.

The DNR officials said their counterparts at the National Park Service could not close the launch because the state had the authority to operate it under a 1961 agreement with the federal government.

"We respect the magnitude of the process the federal government has had to undertake to close its properties and certain activities on properties they own and manage," Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp told department employees, according to the Hill.

"However, after close review and legal consult, DNR has clarified areas where the federal procedures are over-reaching by ordering the closure of properties where the state has management authority through existing agreements," Step said.

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Sean Higgins

Senior Writer
The Washington Examiner