UPDATE: Federal Shutdown Affects Public Lands, Refuges, Special Hunts, Hunters

Refuge deer hunts are popular but will be affected by the government shutdown. (Photo: USFWS)

Refuge deer hunts are popular but will be affected by the government shutdown. (Photo: USFWS)

The shutdown of federal government after Congress failed to reach a budget agreement will affect hunters using National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Corps of Engineers and other federal lands where hunting is permitted.

Public lands will be closed during the shutdown. Employees who must be on site for security or animal services will be utilized but otherwise, the sites will be closed.

Annual and/or quota or scheduled hunts that were to begin Oct. 1 were affected. Public land officials were closing gates and alerting hunters and visitors to depart or that the sites were closed.

Campgrounds and day-use areas at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands are shut down. Some boat ramps behind gated roads may be inaccessible. Campers on the grounds have time to depart and those with any reservations (where applicable) should check before arrival. Click here for a USACE release – this link

State Lands Not Affected
State lands, such as game units or wildlife management areas, are not affnits or wildlife management areas, are not affnits oy be part of federal national forests or other federal lands could be impacted.

State parks or other state lands not affiliated with or otherwise associated with public lands should be open.

(Update) All Lands Within Department of Interior Are Closed
National parks, wildlife refuges, preserves, BLM lands and anything else under the auspices of the Department of Interior are closed. This is a screenshot of the DOI home page:

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 11.55.11 AM

This link (click here) takes you to a DOI page with contingency plans for DOI lands.

Here are some “frequently asked questions” and answers from the National Wildlife Refuge contingency plan:

Would National Wildlife Refuges be open to public access?
No. Refuge lands, visitor centers and other facilities would be closed to public access.

Are refuge hunting and fishing opportunities available if the government is closed?
No. All activities would be canceled until the government reopens.

Are refuges open for walking, biking and other access on trails and roads?
No. All refuges, hatcheries and other lands managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service would not be open to the public during the government shutdown.

Will refuge officers be enforcing laws?
Yes. Refuge law enforcement personnel will ensure the protection of public safety, resources and facilities.

UEUEUPDATE land openings:
Michigan: click this link
Pennsylvania: click this link
Wisconsin: click this link
Vermont: click this link
Arkansas: click this link
Arizona: click this link

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