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Shutdown Means Sportsmen Are Shut Out of Hunting and Fishing

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October 01, 2013

Shutdown Means Sportsmen Are Shut Out of Hunting and Fishing

By Bob Marshall

With fall in the air and hunting seasons about to open across the nation, many sportsmen had an urgent question today: Will the shutdown of the federal government impact our plans?

So your intrepid blogger got right to work on the issue. And, using his decades of experience as a crack journalist, he called the federal government agencies to find out what was closed.

First call: Department of the Interior. The recorded answer at the press enquiries desk: We're closed due to the shutdown.

Your investigator soon discovered the same situation at all the agencies: They were closed during the closure!

Fortunately (or, unfortunately), the folks in charge of our national lands - and hunting and fishing opportunities on those properties – are not strangers to these political windstorms, and prepared web sites explaining what would happen (close) during the shutdown. There was even an email contact of the lone employee covering press inquiries during the shutdown. 

So, after an intense, deep, 15-minute investigation, I can answer the question "What federal lands are closed to outdoor recreation during the shutdown?"

The answer: Everything. All federally owned property is closed to all recreational use during the shutdown.

That information was confirmed by the U.S Department of Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture which manages, among other venues, all National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, National Parks, Bureau of Land Management lands and National Recreation Areas.

So if you were planning to hunting, fishing, boating, camping or otherwise setting foot on federal properties – make other plans.

For more detailed information on the closure plans for the Department of Interior, go to http://www.doi.gov/shutdown.

Comments (23)

Top Rated
All Comments
from TM wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

I hate the politicization of this. Why should it be shut down? I can understand all federal lands being unstaffed during the shutdown, but a wildlife refuge is not a movie theater. You don't NEED anyone there for it to function.

So, why, you ask is it closed? Politics. The same reason they stop after school activities, sports, and bus servicing when you vote down the school budget. The bureaucrats want to tick people off to advance a political agenda.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

So...exactly who is watching the land?

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from jwilliamson wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

I think you're incorrect, Bob, to say that "All federally owned property is closed to all recreational use during the shutdown." BLM's frequently asked questions, from the link you provided, state that all non-developed lands without secured access (hunting lands) will remain open.

I haven't checked, but suspect the same is true for national forests. Nonetheless, I agree that conservation suffers from the shutdown.

On second thought, maybe I should've kept quiet. Perhaps less people would've been out for my elk hunt in two weeks.

P.S. I tried to put the link in this comment, but the moderator software for some reason read it to be "obscene."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

Sounds like a poachers dream.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GrandSlamDreamer wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

Once again, our government has failed to act in the best interest of the people they swore to serve. I hunt in PA, but drive past a public land access point in NJ, and the gate was closed for the first time in the 6 months I've driven by it. Perhaps this is a fluke, but I can't help but shake my head in disappointment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

I'm in Thorne Bay Ak. The Tongass National Forest. I will be catching silvers here today on my fly rod. Only the black helicopters will be able to stop me. I will obey the fishing regs just like I did yesterday and just as I will tomorrow. What is the point of this article? It is obviously not accurate.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

A friend's brother working in Yellowstone said everybody has to be out of the park by tomorrow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JRE716 wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

The national forest's around me never have people working to maintain the area. I drove by the a national forest this morning and there were people parked in the forest. I can only assume these people were bow hunting on this national forest. Not saying it is right but many people count on this land for hunting season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

Out here in the West about 80% of my beloved state is owned, and poorly managed by those knuckle heads in Washington. I'd like to see them keep us off it. Nice fear tactic Bob, it ain't flyin.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

Being a National Forest means it's owned by the United States which is owned by the people which means we have every right to be there regardless of government shutdown or not. If the Cartels are allowed in so are we so the government can kiss our @$$3$ because we owned the place not the Petulant Child King in Office. Since when did we as a Nation return to 1700 England where the government owned the land and not the people? Just like the WWII Vets yesterday did knock down every barrier in your way because they have no right to keep you out of places you pay for and own.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lord Humungus wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

It's a small price to pay to forego some hunting and fishing for a while to shut down Obozo, who is hell bent on making wage tax slaves of all of us for his Marxist vision of America. We need to band together and stand behind the courageous leaders who are calling his bluff on the most poorly drafted and ill conceived pieces legislation in the history of this country designed only to penalize those who achieve and entrench the entitlement mind set into the true arrogant Americans, the ones who don't contribute and expect the world to give them a living on our backs. We need to stop whining about losing a day of fishing or hunting and pull together until Obozo and his evil minions are given the gate and learn that the will of true patriots shall not be broken, even if it means we must refresh the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and Marxist tyrants, who seek to rule by executive order in defiance of our Constitution.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

It's Political Hack Extortion. In other words, unless you give them everything they want, when they want it, they will punish you by telling you that you can't go on the land the YOU bought, fought and paid for. Well I have two words for the Obama thugs....and it isn't Merry Christmas..oops..Merry X-Mass (Don't want Eric Holder arresting me for being insensitive).

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mr. Creosote wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

Wow, Humungus, what a great and inspiring speech...if you happen to be batsh**t crazy...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from wooden1dr wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

The Affordable Care Act was passed into law and upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. It is now in effect. If people don't like it, fine, then try to get it changed or repealed... Oops, too late for that. This shutdown has been caused by the house republicans refusal to take something attached to a budget (how THAT'S legal I have no clue) off the bill. It's not even partially the fault of the senate democrats as um, IT'S A LAW!!! You can't undo it by shutting down the government, period. If you want to be pissed at someone make sure you're pissed at the right people. As for federal lands being accessible my guess would be there is SOMEONE watching who has the authority to enforce the shutdown, if applicable. Enter at your own risk... Those furloughed were "non-essential" personnel. That doesn't mean everyone, Ranger Rick likely is still out there, just in much smaller numbers. Yes, I'm pissed about it too, but nothing is worth going to jail for...

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Yonts wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

re. "(how THAT'S legal I have no clue)", it is legal and responsible for the House to defund whatever it chooses per Article 1 section 7 of the Constitution of the United States. Part of the checks and balances. This IS nothing but politics at its grimiest. Obama has spent more money on the guards keeping the WWII vets away from a memorial whose very essence and existence was earned by their blood, than it would cost to 'allow' them to visit. Ridiculous...

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Yonts wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

Oh, and re. "shutdown has been caused by the house republicans refusal to take something attached to a budget (how THAT'S legal I have no clue) off the bill", you have it wrong (again). The House of Representatives submitted the budget, and in fact, they are the ONLY ones who can, per the aforementioned constitutional provision. It is the Senate that is Senate Democrats 'tak[ing](sic) something attached to a budget...off the bill'. In essence they are asking the House to resubmit their budget in a way they will accept. No negotiating here. Maybe the House ought to swear allegiance to Syria, Iran, or the Russians. They could probably be negotiated with then.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from w2e2b wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

When are the Tea Bag morons going to learn that the Republicans are not working for them. They work for BIG MONEY. they are nothing more that a bunch of hookers getting paid by the big boys to do what they want them to do. Most of the states voting these Tea Bag Scum Bags in to office are the states the have the biggest Welfare Programs in the country. Talk about cutting of your nose despite your face. Tea Baggers go look in the mirror, you just screwed your self.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zmay wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

DOI would not be the source for national forest or BLM. Department of agriculture runs both, their site is down. I would expect word of closure of either on state game and fish sites. Currently AZ shows no closures but info could be lagging. As state agencies do almost all enforcement of game laws, I see no impact from the enforcement side.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Yonts wrote 28 weeks 16 hours ago

w2e2b, I am not a Tea Party member, however I can read. The purpose of the Tea Party is to "bring awareness to any issue which challenges the security, sovereignty or domestic tranquility of our beloved nation". Of the two dominant parties, it is clear the democrats will never lean conservative. And given the republicans have some history as being more conservative (albeit not as much as many, self included would like), they therefore get more of the attention regarding candidates. However, given the context of your little message, I suspect you already know this.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 28 weeks 12 hours ago

This is what happens when you empower government to own your hunting and fishing land. They will treat you worse than any corporation would ever treat you. The government has all the power and doesn't need you. The marketplace involves personal choice. Don't allow the government that power over you. Cut the budget to Constitutional spending only.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Flintlock wrote 28 weeks 9 hours ago

According to the BLM's FAQ page on their contingency plan:

May I hunt or fish on public lands?
Yes, consistent with State law.

But, fish and feathers says:
"Refuge lands, visitor centers
and other facilities would be closed to public access." and "wildlife inspectors our paid by user fees and
would be on the job"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Merkel wrote 28 weeks 8 hours ago

This isn't true. National Forest and BLM land remain open. The offices are closed, so if you need a special permit or something you might be out of the luck, but the majority of the land remains open. Thats how it is out here it Utah anyway. I work for DOI at a National Park unit and was told this in a meeting on the last day before the shutdown

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TinEagle wrote 27 weeks 3 days ago

Now if we could only find ammunition to hunt with. With DHS buying billions of rounds, the shelves seem to be empty. Guess Obama found a method of gun control without passing a bill. The price they paid for the billions of rounds could probably have funded the Nation Parks for two years.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buckhunter wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

So...exactly who is watching the land?

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

Being a National Forest means it's owned by the United States which is owned by the people which means we have every right to be there regardless of government shutdown or not. If the Cartels are allowed in so are we so the government can kiss our @$$3$ because we owned the place not the Petulant Child King in Office. Since when did we as a Nation return to 1700 England where the government owned the land and not the people? Just like the WWII Vets yesterday did knock down every barrier in your way because they have no right to keep you out of places you pay for and own.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

I hate the politicization of this. Why should it be shut down? I can understand all federal lands being unstaffed during the shutdown, but a wildlife refuge is not a movie theater. You don't NEED anyone there for it to function.

So, why, you ask is it closed? Politics. The same reason they stop after school activities, sports, and bus servicing when you vote down the school budget. The bureaucrats want to tick people off to advance a political agenda.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Yonts wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

re. "(how THAT'S legal I have no clue)", it is legal and responsible for the House to defund whatever it chooses per Article 1 section 7 of the Constitution of the United States. Part of the checks and balances. This IS nothing but politics at its grimiest. Obama has spent more money on the guards keeping the WWII vets away from a memorial whose very essence and existence was earned by their blood, than it would cost to 'allow' them to visit. Ridiculous...

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mr. Creosote wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

Wow, Humungus, what a great and inspiring speech...if you happen to be batsh**t crazy...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Yonts wrote 28 weeks 16 hours ago

w2e2b, I am not a Tea Party member, however I can read. The purpose of the Tea Party is to "bring awareness to any issue which challenges the security, sovereignty or domestic tranquility of our beloved nation". Of the two dominant parties, it is clear the democrats will never lean conservative. And given the republicans have some history as being more conservative (albeit not as much as many, self included would like), they therefore get more of the attention regarding candidates. However, given the context of your little message, I suspect you already know this.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

It's Political Hack Extortion. In other words, unless you give them everything they want, when they want it, they will punish you by telling you that you can't go on the land the YOU bought, fought and paid for. Well I have two words for the Obama thugs....and it isn't Merry Christmas..oops..Merry X-Mass (Don't want Eric Holder arresting me for being insensitive).

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jwilliamson wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

I think you're incorrect, Bob, to say that "All federally owned property is closed to all recreational use during the shutdown." BLM's frequently asked questions, from the link you provided, state that all non-developed lands without secured access (hunting lands) will remain open.

I haven't checked, but suspect the same is true for national forests. Nonetheless, I agree that conservation suffers from the shutdown.

On second thought, maybe I should've kept quiet. Perhaps less people would've been out for my elk hunt in two weeks.

P.S. I tried to put the link in this comment, but the moderator software for some reason read it to be "obscene."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

I'm in Thorne Bay Ak. The Tongass National Forest. I will be catching silvers here today on my fly rod. Only the black helicopters will be able to stop me. I will obey the fishing regs just like I did yesterday and just as I will tomorrow. What is the point of this article? It is obviously not accurate.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JRE716 wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

The national forest's around me never have people working to maintain the area. I drove by the a national forest this morning and there were people parked in the forest. I can only assume these people were bow hunting on this national forest. Not saying it is right but many people count on this land for hunting season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from benjaminwc wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

Out here in the West about 80% of my beloved state is owned, and poorly managed by those knuckle heads in Washington. I'd like to see them keep us off it. Nice fear tactic Bob, it ain't flyin.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Yonts wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

Oh, and re. "shutdown has been caused by the house republicans refusal to take something attached to a budget (how THAT'S legal I have no clue) off the bill", you have it wrong (again). The House of Representatives submitted the budget, and in fact, they are the ONLY ones who can, per the aforementioned constitutional provision. It is the Senate that is Senate Democrats 'tak[ing](sic) something attached to a budget...off the bill'. In essence they are asking the House to resubmit their budget in a way they will accept. No negotiating here. Maybe the House ought to swear allegiance to Syria, Iran, or the Russians. They could probably be negotiated with then.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 28 weeks 12 hours ago

This is what happens when you empower government to own your hunting and fishing land. They will treat you worse than any corporation would ever treat you. The government has all the power and doesn't need you. The marketplace involves personal choice. Don't allow the government that power over you. Cut the budget to Constitutional spending only.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GrandSlamDreamer wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

Once again, our government has failed to act in the best interest of the people they swore to serve. I hunt in PA, but drive past a public land access point in NJ, and the gate was closed for the first time in the 6 months I've driven by it. Perhaps this is a fluke, but I can't help but shake my head in disappointment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

A friend's brother working in Yellowstone said everybody has to be out of the park by tomorrow.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Flintlock wrote 28 weeks 9 hours ago

According to the BLM's FAQ page on their contingency plan:

May I hunt or fish on public lands?
Yes, consistent with State law.

But, fish and feathers says:
"Refuge lands, visitor centers
and other facilities would be closed to public access." and "wildlife inspectors our paid by user fees and
would be on the job"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Merkel wrote 28 weeks 8 hours ago

This isn't true. National Forest and BLM land remain open. The offices are closed, so if you need a special permit or something you might be out of the luck, but the majority of the land remains open. Thats how it is out here it Utah anyway. I work for DOI at a National Park unit and was told this in a meeting on the last day before the shutdown

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TinEagle wrote 27 weeks 3 days ago

Now if we could only find ammunition to hunt with. With DHS buying billions of rounds, the shelves seem to be empty. Guess Obama found a method of gun control without passing a bill. The price they paid for the billions of rounds could probably have funded the Nation Parks for two years.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 28 weeks 2 days ago

Sounds like a poachers dream.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wooden1dr wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

The Affordable Care Act was passed into law and upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. It is now in effect. If people don't like it, fine, then try to get it changed or repealed... Oops, too late for that. This shutdown has been caused by the house republicans refusal to take something attached to a budget (how THAT'S legal I have no clue) off the bill. It's not even partially the fault of the senate democrats as um, IT'S A LAW!!! You can't undo it by shutting down the government, period. If you want to be pissed at someone make sure you're pissed at the right people. As for federal lands being accessible my guess would be there is SOMEONE watching who has the authority to enforce the shutdown, if applicable. Enter at your own risk... Those furloughed were "non-essential" personnel. That doesn't mean everyone, Ranger Rick likely is still out there, just in much smaller numbers. Yes, I'm pissed about it too, but nothing is worth going to jail for...

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zmay wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

DOI would not be the source for national forest or BLM. Department of agriculture runs both, their site is down. I would expect word of closure of either on state game and fish sites. Currently AZ shows no closures but info could be lagging. As state agencies do almost all enforcement of game laws, I see no impact from the enforcement side.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lord Humungus wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

It's a small price to pay to forego some hunting and fishing for a while to shut down Obozo, who is hell bent on making wage tax slaves of all of us for his Marxist vision of America. We need to band together and stand behind the courageous leaders who are calling his bluff on the most poorly drafted and ill conceived pieces legislation in the history of this country designed only to penalize those who achieve and entrench the entitlement mind set into the true arrogant Americans, the ones who don't contribute and expect the world to give them a living on our backs. We need to stop whining about losing a day of fishing or hunting and pull together until Obozo and his evil minions are given the gate and learn that the will of true patriots shall not be broken, even if it means we must refresh the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and Marxist tyrants, who seek to rule by executive order in defiance of our Constitution.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from w2e2b wrote 28 weeks 1 day ago

When are the Tea Bag morons going to learn that the Republicans are not working for them. They work for BIG MONEY. they are nothing more that a bunch of hookers getting paid by the big boys to do what they want them to do. Most of the states voting these Tea Bag Scum Bags in to office are the states the have the biggest Welfare Programs in the country. Talk about cutting of your nose despite your face. Tea Baggers go look in the mirror, you just screwed your self.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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