Our View: Udall’s Hollow Words

March 10, 2014
Colorado has not been repaid for opening the park gates during the government shutdown.

Colorado has not been repaid for opening the park gates during the government shutdown.

Sen. Mark Udall continues to speak against the injustices committed when the park service overlords were forced to barricade its boundaries from the public in October to protest a squabble over government spending and the repeal of Obamacare.

In his latest press release, Udall applauded himself for being an avid outdoorsman and embraced a new park service report that bemoaned the impacts of the two-week shutdown they forced down our collective throats.

That report “underscores the destructive effect that partisan politics can have on these national treasures,” Udall said in the statement from his unofficial reelection campaign office in Washington.

“The reckless 2013 government shutdown and the pain it caused in Estes Park and across Colorado have only steeled my resolve to keep fighting to support and protect Colorado’s spectacular parks and monuments and the communities they support,” Udall said.

Flagrantly missing from Udall’s missive is any mention of Colorado taxpayers, the actual players who opened their wallets and forked over $200,000 to the National Park Service to reopen the Rocky Mountain National Park for five of the 16-day shutdown.

By all appearances, Udall hasn’t lifted a finger to persuade the park service to repay Colorado or the additional states that pitched in a combined $3 million to reopen the Grand Canyon, Statue of Liberty and other national treasures during the shutdown.

That burden has fallen to House Republicans including Colorado Reps. Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton, who attended hearings demanding the money be repaid to states and are backing legislation that would force the National Park Service to make good on the loan.

The only sounds we hear from Senate Democrats are crickets.

Udall does remind in his press release that he’s the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee on national parks, and pledged his continued concern and understanding on issues that affect parks.

He should start with a check from the park service made out to Colorado Taxpayers for the sum of $200,000.

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