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How Sequestration Could Impact Your Hunting and Fishing: National Wildlife Refuge Closures

March 01, 2013
How Sequestration Could Impact Your Hunting and Fishing: National Wildlife Refuge Closures - 6

With the sequestration (an $85 billion across-the-board cut from the federal budget) set to take place by at least 11:59 p.m. tonight, a lot of people are wondering exactly what the impacts will be. If the White House and Congress can't come to an agreement, and it doesn't look they will, there will be a forced 8.2 percent budget cut to all non-exempt federal programs including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Park Services, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

What it could mean for you, is less access to hunting, hiking, and fishing opportunities at national wildlife refuges.

"With regard to our wildlife refuges, funding reductions will mean that our public visitation programs will suffer," Chris Tollefson USFWS Chief of Communications wrote in an email. "The refuges will still be staffed, in most instances, and will remain part of the refuge system under Service management. But we will be forced to close these refuges on the weekends, and eliminate many of our public hunting and fishing programs unless and until we have refuge staff and law enforcement officers available to oversee them."

Tollefson said these closures will be more or less limited to about 128 of the country's 561 refuges identified by outgoing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Of course, this number (and many more details) could change as the Service scrambles to figure out how to best make its budget cuts.

Hopefully, the political winds shift soon and the Service won't be forced into these tough decisions. Because, in a time of fiscal strain, why would we make cuts to such economic drivers like hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation?

Comments (6)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Fred Guidry wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

well, it's official and the spending cuts are now the law of the land. As long as people keep allowing their pockets to be picked by Hate Radio pundits and extreme, ego-massaging, Narcissistic, greedy, criminal politicians on both sides of the aisle, then the super rich will keep on getting richer on the backs of most Americans and eventually, people are going to be so angry that they'll want what Germany wanted and some form of a new "Hitler" will emerge to take revenge and that will be the end of the American Empire and the Big Boys will make out like fat cats.

Don't forget that more millionaires were made during the Great Depression than at any other time in American History. All those safeguards that our parents and grandparents put in place after the Depression of the 30s have been voted out. They told people they didn't need regulation and without it, the wolves have emptied the hen house.

We only have ourselves to thank.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper56 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

this blog is a farce,no way will there be impacts like that! Besides we will all need to sacrifice a little to get off the debt train, can anyone say Greece. Give me a break. I wonder if this guy is a lib and is just trying out the sheep's clothing,

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Karl Fowler wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Jcarlin you are spot on. I would expect not to run into as many officials trying to squeeze extra revenue out of everyone they see. It can't cost that much to let wild land be wild land. All I see is a possibility that I need to add Bolt cutters to my outdoors gear when I run into public land that is locked up. How can anyone announce a disaster before it occurs. If they can't make a 2% cut to fix 140trillion dollar debt then we really are doomed. Here's to spring hunting with no harassment. here here.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lance Lanier wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Here is what is REALLY frustrating...every governmental dept, including the military, is publicly stating "what will happen if"...they all put the cuts squarely on the very essence of why they exist, instead of the wasteful periphery and administrative junk. In other words, if you told me I had to cut 8% of MY budget, I wouldn't go sell a car, move to a small shack, or eliminate one of my kids...I might drop cable TV, tighten the belt on eating out, and wear the clothes I already have. The politics around this make me want to throw up-- we MUST stop spending what we don't have!!!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from santulma wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

How is it a decrease in the amount of the increase will prevent us from accessing lands? Don't buy into the scare tactics. The President controls where the budget gets distributed.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I could never figure this issue out. Why on earth does a government shut down mean you can't access public land? It's public land. Leave the gate open and warn people that noones going to come to thier rescue and the bathroom is closed. I get that it's not ideal from a tourist standpoint, but for outdoorsman and hikers and backpackers, that's the atmosphere we're generally in search of.
A government shut down should mean there are less barriers to accessing public land.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from jcarlin wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

I could never figure this issue out. Why on earth does a government shut down mean you can't access public land? It's public land. Leave the gate open and warn people that noones going to come to thier rescue and the bathroom is closed. I get that it's not ideal from a tourist standpoint, but for outdoorsman and hikers and backpackers, that's the atmosphere we're generally in search of.
A government shut down should mean there are less barriers to accessing public land.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lance Lanier wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Here is what is REALLY frustrating...every governmental dept, including the military, is publicly stating "what will happen if"...they all put the cuts squarely on the very essence of why they exist, instead of the wasteful periphery and administrative junk. In other words, if you told me I had to cut 8% of MY budget, I wouldn't go sell a car, move to a small shack, or eliminate one of my kids...I might drop cable TV, tighten the belt on eating out, and wear the clothes I already have. The politics around this make me want to throw up-- we MUST stop spending what we don't have!!!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from santulma wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

How is it a decrease in the amount of the increase will prevent us from accessing lands? Don't buy into the scare tactics. The President controls where the budget gets distributed.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Karl Fowler wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

Jcarlin you are spot on. I would expect not to run into as many officials trying to squeeze extra revenue out of everyone they see. It can't cost that much to let wild land be wild land. All I see is a possibility that I need to add Bolt cutters to my outdoors gear when I run into public land that is locked up. How can anyone announce a disaster before it occurs. If they can't make a 2% cut to fix 140trillion dollar debt then we really are doomed. Here's to spring hunting with no harassment. here here.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Trapper56 wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

this blog is a farce,no way will there be impacts like that! Besides we will all need to sacrifice a little to get off the debt train, can anyone say Greece. Give me a break. I wonder if this guy is a lib and is just trying out the sheep's clothing,

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fred Guidry wrote 1 year 21 weeks ago

well, it's official and the spending cuts are now the law of the land. As long as people keep allowing their pockets to be picked by Hate Radio pundits and extreme, ego-massaging, Narcissistic, greedy, criminal politicians on both sides of the aisle, then the super rich will keep on getting richer on the backs of most Americans and eventually, people are going to be so angry that they'll want what Germany wanted and some form of a new "Hitler" will emerge to take revenge and that will be the end of the American Empire and the Big Boys will make out like fat cats.

Don't forget that more millionaires were made during the Great Depression than at any other time in American History. All those safeguards that our parents and grandparents put in place after the Depression of the 30s have been voted out. They told people they didn't need regulation and without it, the wolves have emptied the hen house.

We only have ourselves to thank.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

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