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Government Shutdown Puts Vital Conservation Work on Hold
WASHINGTON - October 1 - The government shutdown brings to a screeching halt many vital programs and activities of federal natural resource agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Below is a statement from Defenders of Wildlife president and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark:
“The inability of our lawmakers to face reality and pass a clean budget for the new fiscal year has turned our federal natural resource agencies and the incredible resources that they protect into tragic hostages. National wildlife refuges, parks and forests across the United States have closed. Educational programs are canceled and visitor centers have locked their doors. Millions of outdoor enthusiasts and travelers across the country will have their plans upended. And local communities which rely on billions in wildlife-related recreation will be penalized through no fault of their own.
“Even worse, this shameful shutdown has suspended all progress for federal conservation work, such as needed recovery projects for the more than 1400 plants and animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. Our already underfunded federal natural resource agencies have had to waste weeks and precious taxpayer dollars planning for this ill-advised debacle. Every day this shutdown remains in effect is a day wasted towards the conservation of our nation’s lands, waters and wildlife.
“The sooner Congress gets its act together and does its job, the sooner our wildlife and land managers can go back to doing theirs.”