Private Donations Will Keep Open Scenic Overlook Closed By Sequester

As a part of the Obama administration’s campaign to make the sequester “cuts” (more like reductions in the growth of federal spending) hurt in very visible ways, North Dakota’s Painted Canyon Overlook (a beautiful place that is worth your time to visit if you haven’t been there) was closed. In response, Senator John Hoeven convened a group of government and private foundations to find a way to keep the overlook, which is located square in North Dakota’s key tourism area, open for the 2013 season.

The feds agreed to keep the overlook open through Labor Day, and now Senator Hoeven is announcing that private donations will keep it open beyond that.

See the full press release below.

Meanwhile, while we can’t keep a small rest stop open in North Dakota because of the sequester, President Obama will soon be embarking on a vacation to Africa that will cost taxpayers as much as $100 million.

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the local community has secured funding through the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation to keep the Painted Canyon Overlook open through the end of October 2013. Hoeven’s office has been working with the U.S. Park Service and the community to secure adequate funding to ensure the overlook remains open through the end of October, as opposed to closing at the end of September.

“We are grateful that the community has come together and found a way to keep the Painted Canyon Overlook open through the end of October,” said Hoeven. “We appreciate the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation for securing the additional funding to ensure that the public can enjoy the beauty of our badlands for an additional month. The Painted Canyon Overlook is truly one of our state’s greatest tourist attractions and a wonderful asset for local communities.”

Following news that the overlook would not be opened for the season, Hoeven contacted U.S. Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis and he agreed to work with the senator and the local community to come up with options to keep open the Painted Canyon Overlook. A working group was organized to find ways to keep the overlook open during the 2013 tourist season.

After the working group’s first meeting, the Park Service agreed to open the overlook from May 25 through Labor Day, and has subsequently agreed to keep it open through the end of September. Hoeven’s office continued working with the group to find options to keep the overlook open through the end of October.
The group included Hoeven’s western North Dakota regional director, Jon Cameron, National Park Service Superintendent Valerie Naylor, Medora Mayor Doug Ellison, Billings County Commission Chair Jim Arthuad and representatives from the Dickinson Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, Medora Convention and Visitors Bureau, Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association, North Dakota Tourism Division, North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation, North Dakota Highway Patrol and others.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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