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Shutdown Update: Some Federal Properties Remain Open For Sportsmen

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October 02, 2013

Shutdown Update: Some Federal Properties Remain Open For Sportsmen

By Bob Marshall

It turns out trying to answer the question “Are federal lands are open to public hunting and fishing during the government shutdown?” is not as easy as I reported in the previous post.
 
I was told by a service representative at a USA.gov’s toll-free number (1-800-333-4636) for shutdown questions, “If it’s federal property it is closed to public use during the shutdown.”
 
A Department of Interior worker did not contradict that message.
 
But that apparently is not true.
 
For example, a link to a Bureau of Land Management PDF with frequently asked questions about the shutdown includes these:
 
Will I be able to visit BLM-managed public lands?
 
All recreation facilities, including campgrounds, boat ramps etc., will be closed. If it is a non-developed recreational destination with no controlled access, you may visit. However, there will be no services and there will no non-emergency services available.
 
May I hunt or fish on public lands?
 
Yes, consistent with State law.
 
I am an outfitter with a BLM permit. May I still operate my business?
 
Commercial, competitive and group authorization for events and activities, including commercial outfitter and special recreation permits, can continue operations provided they do not need BLM field monitoring, oversight or BLM assistance of any kind, and are not operating in sites that have been closed.
 
I took the information given by a real, live person as the last word.
 
That was a mistake.
 
Obviously there is a lot of confusion, and the fact that national and local offices seem to be closed makes it almost impossible to straighten out the mess.
 
It’s probably best to drive to the local offices which likely will have notices posted on their boards.
 
And any sportsmen out there who has verified information about openings/closings in their areas could help their brothers-in-camo by posting their findings here, with any useful links.

Comments (5)

Top Rated
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from labrador12 wrote 28 weeks 17 hours ago

You found a government employee who didn't know what he was talking about!!! They are in the IRS, the EPA, and everywhere in that monstrosity that we call big government. I notice that you didn't question your source. Sometimes you seem more like a government lapdog than a journalist. The silvers were biting this morning I landed 4.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jwill wrote 28 weeks 14 hours ago

I logged in here to post that link, glad to see the retraction. They can close the gates, but they can't lock me out of our public lands. TR has to be rolling over in his grave... This grandstanding is something I won't soon forget.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 27 weeks 6 days ago

As I read it, the crux is whether the place you want to be is a "site" versus mere "land." The USFS Web Site says the following:

"Due to the lapse in agency funding, the sale of all types of permits (i.e., recreation, firewood, forest products, mineral materials for example) are suspended, recreation.gov reservations are suspended, and all federally owned recreation sites are closed. All offices are closed. These services will be available once funding is restored."

If you want to do anything at a "recreation site" that requires a Federal permit, or engage in an activity that you do not yet possess, you're out of luck. "Recreation sites" are typically small areas within large Federal land areas that require permits for their use. Typically campgrounds, boat ramps, etc.

Activities that do not require site-specific permit, such as hunting on Federal land (as long as you're not hunting around a "recreation site" that requires a permit to park or be there) is ok. It's ok to continue to graze yer cows etc.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Byron Alexander wrote 27 weeks 6 days ago

Jwill, thank you for remembering this shuttering of our national parks, monuments, and parts of other public facilities. During future election cycles, it's so important to know that these decisions of what to close were made by the current leaders of the Executive branch of our government, NOT by most members of Congress.

By his actions and those of his cabinet heads, President Obama has made it perfectly clear he intends to inflict any amount of discomfort and inconvenience on the American people to retain and continue his political objectives. No negotiation. His dire gloom-and-doom predictions during (his) budget sequester plan mostly failed to materialize.

Likewise, this current budget squabble will be resolved - at least temporarily. There will be no winners. Only losers. A vast number of Americans who will have lost more faith in their federal government. And a bunch of career politicians with egg on their faces.

And a sitting President being recognized for his lack of leadership ability and his spiteful character.

Here's wishing you good hunting and hoping you catch a lunker!

Remember the mantra ... Vote your conscience - early and often!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harry Palmer wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

The decision as to which facility is closed depends upon the color of money used to operate it. The Federal Government has many "colors" of money and each may only be used for the specific reason Congress appropriated and authorized (approved the expenditure and provided the money). In many cases, you have to look at which agency (USDA, Park Service, BLM, Forrest Service, etc.) has the responsibility for operating and maintaining the land/campground/forest/park. Each has different rules & each has different funding. I agree its very confusing but the local people are doing the best they can with the limited information they were given. Verification usually comes from higher up and those people may not be working due to the furlough. In addition, some areas may have State people involved in the operation which may allow them to stay open. The President does not make the day-to-day decisions for each Agency; political appointees head each Department and Agency. Go on-line, search the web and try to find out who's in charge of the area you want to hunt or fish. Then you will have a better idea of who to ask if something is closed or open. Best wishes to all on your hunting or fishing expeditions.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from jwill wrote 28 weeks 14 hours ago

I logged in here to post that link, glad to see the retraction. They can close the gates, but they can't lock me out of our public lands. TR has to be rolling over in his grave... This grandstanding is something I won't soon forget.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 28 weeks 17 hours ago

You found a government employee who didn't know what he was talking about!!! They are in the IRS, the EPA, and everywhere in that monstrosity that we call big government. I notice that you didn't question your source. Sometimes you seem more like a government lapdog than a journalist. The silvers were biting this morning I landed 4.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Byron Alexander wrote 27 weeks 6 days ago

Jwill, thank you for remembering this shuttering of our national parks, monuments, and parts of other public facilities. During future election cycles, it's so important to know that these decisions of what to close were made by the current leaders of the Executive branch of our government, NOT by most members of Congress.

By his actions and those of his cabinet heads, President Obama has made it perfectly clear he intends to inflict any amount of discomfort and inconvenience on the American people to retain and continue his political objectives. No negotiation. His dire gloom-and-doom predictions during (his) budget sequester plan mostly failed to materialize.

Likewise, this current budget squabble will be resolved - at least temporarily. There will be no winners. Only losers. A vast number of Americans who will have lost more faith in their federal government. And a bunch of career politicians with egg on their faces.

And a sitting President being recognized for his lack of leadership ability and his spiteful character.

Here's wishing you good hunting and hoping you catch a lunker!

Remember the mantra ... Vote your conscience - early and often!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 27 weeks 6 days ago

As I read it, the crux is whether the place you want to be is a "site" versus mere "land." The USFS Web Site says the following:

"Due to the lapse in agency funding, the sale of all types of permits (i.e., recreation, firewood, forest products, mineral materials for example) are suspended, recreation.gov reservations are suspended, and all federally owned recreation sites are closed. All offices are closed. These services will be available once funding is restored."

If you want to do anything at a "recreation site" that requires a Federal permit, or engage in an activity that you do not yet possess, you're out of luck. "Recreation sites" are typically small areas within large Federal land areas that require permits for their use. Typically campgrounds, boat ramps, etc.

Activities that do not require site-specific permit, such as hunting on Federal land (as long as you're not hunting around a "recreation site" that requires a permit to park or be there) is ok. It's ok to continue to graze yer cows etc.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harry Palmer wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

The decision as to which facility is closed depends upon the color of money used to operate it. The Federal Government has many "colors" of money and each may only be used for the specific reason Congress appropriated and authorized (approved the expenditure and provided the money). In many cases, you have to look at which agency (USDA, Park Service, BLM, Forrest Service, etc.) has the responsibility for operating and maintaining the land/campground/forest/park. Each has different rules & each has different funding. I agree its very confusing but the local people are doing the best they can with the limited information they were given. Verification usually comes from higher up and those people may not be working due to the furlough. In addition, some areas may have State people involved in the operation which may allow them to stay open. The President does not make the day-to-day decisions for each Agency; political appointees head each Department and Agency. Go on-line, search the web and try to find out who's in charge of the area you want to hunt or fish. Then you will have a better idea of who to ask if something is closed or open. Best wishes to all on your hunting or fishing expeditions.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment