National parks across the country may close during a federal government shutdown, affecting millions of visitors 

The U.S. Department of the Interior intends to lock gates, close visitor centers, and furlough park rangers 

Shutdown preparations are underway for numerous sites, from iconic parks like Yosemite to smaller historical ones 

Concerns arise as Congress nears a September 30 deadline to fund the federal government, with some hard-right Republicans opposing temporary measures 

Not all parks will close; states and local governments can keep them open by paying a daily fee to the federal government 

Arizona and Utah's governors plan to fund the operation of parks like the Grand Canyon and Zion 

Past shutdowns saw states like New York paying to reopen attractions like Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Mount Rushmore 

Unlike the previous administration, the Biden administration has chosen to close national parks during a shutdown 

Previous shutdowns left lasting damage, including poaching, graffiti, and illegal off-roading in sensitive desert areas 

The Department of the Interior oversees over 400 national park sites, employing 20,000 workers, but some attractions like the National Mall will remain open during a shutdown