U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Closes Down to Public, Impacts
Lakewood, Colo. - The FederalGovernment has closed as a result of the government shutdown and funding expirationsand as a result the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will see bigimpacts.
Due to this event, the national wildlife refuges, waterfowl productionareas, Ecological Services field offices, fish hatcheries, fish technologycenter, fish health center, fish and wildlife conservation offices, and JointVenture offices in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, SouthDakota, Utah and Wyoming will be closed to the public.
For programs experiencing a lapse in government funding only the functions necessaryto respond to emergencies and to protect human life or property will continue.Throughout the course of the shutdown public access to Service properties willbe prohibited and fish and wildlife management activities and public programswill be canceled.
This includes all public recreation and includes hunting activities onnational wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas, scheduled forTuesday, October 1.
Main impacts to the U.S. Fish and WildlifeService from the lapse in appropriated funding include:
- All561 National Wildlife Refuges are closed to public access. Visitor centers andother buildings are closed.
- TheNational Wildlife Refuge System hosts more than 46.5 million people per year,and generates more than $342 million in local, county, state and federal taxincome. Refuges also support more than35,000 private-sector jobs.
- Allactivities on Refuge lands and in public buildings are canceled. This includes hunting and fishing activitieson Refuge lands.
- Nopermitting work or consultations will occur with respect to the EndangeredSpecies Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Convention on Trade inEndangered Species, the Lacey Act or the National Environmental Policy Act.
- Theshutdown will affect more than 7,000 Service employees, who are furlougheduntil an appropriation is passed.
- Employeesand others may not volunteer their services on behalf of Service functions oron federal lands.
Services and programs that will remainoperational fall into the following exempted categories:
- Programsfinanced by sources other than annual appropriations.
- Activitiesexpressly authorized by law.
- Activitiesnecessary to protect life and property.
- FederalAid in Wildlife Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration.
- NaturalResource Damage Assessment Fund activities
- RefugeLaw Enforcement emergency operations
- Firefightingemergency operations
- Careand feeding activities at hatcheries and captive breeding facilities.
TheU.S. Fish and Wildlife website will be down for the duration of theshutdown due to a lack of maintenance. Additional information will beavailable at www.DOI.gov/shutdown.