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Apr 7, 2011 6:31 AM

Gov. shutdown would affect Grand Canyon

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - National Park Service rangers mounted horses, jumped aboard motorized rafts, and set out on foot and in helicopters to clear visitors from the Grand Canyon.

They searched backcountry and rafting permits to find visitors throughout the 1.2 million-acre park and told them they had to leave within 48 hours.

That was the beginning of a 21-day shutdown of the federal government in late 1995 that led to the closure of national parks.

It could happen again if Congress doesn't reach an agreement on the federal budget by midnight Friday, but whether the park does shut down would depend on closure orders from the federal government.

Rob Arnberger was superintendent at Grand Canyon at the time. He says closing the park would stir up strong emotions.

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