(AP) Grand Canyon National Park is delaying the start of a highly competitive lottery to award permits for self-guided rafting trips on the Colorado River.
The lottery usually begins Feb. 1 with thousands of people vying for launch dates in 2020. The trips can last 12 to 25 days.
Matt Baldwin works with the park's river permits office.
He says Friday that staff had a lot of work to catch up on after the government reopened following a 35-day shutdown.
The lottery now is scheduled to begin Feb. 16 and close in mid-March. Baldwin says the date was chosen because of another possible government shutdown on Feb. 15. If that happens, the lottery would be delayed again.