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//.