(By The Associated Press)
Mount Rushmore's spokeswoman says South Dakota employees could not be used to keep the memorial open.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he sent a letter to the director of the National Park Service offering personnel and resources in the wake of the partial federal government shutdown.
Park spokeswoman Maureen McGee-Dallinger says she hasn't seen the letter, but that only federal employees can operate Mount Rushmore because it's a federal facility.
She says that means the memorial will close without federal funding.
That doesn't mean tourists would unable to see the memorial. It's visible from the road in front of it, and nearby Iron Mountain Road offers some of the best views available of the four faces.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard has sent a letter to the director of the National Park Service offering state personnel and resources to keep Mount Rushmore open in the event of a federal government shutdown.
"Mount Rushmore is a national treasure and is a special location for South Dakotans and citizens across the country," Gov. Daugaard said in the letter. "I am confident state government could work with the federal government and private vendors to securely and competently manage Mount Rushmore during a federal shutdown."
The letter to the director includes an attachment outlining how the state would operate Mount Rushmore.
The Governor is willing to raise private funds to pay for the lighting of the memorial and use state personnel to provide security. The visitor center would not be open for operations, but the concessions and gift shop would remain open.