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Tag Archives: Government shutdown

Shotgun Shutdown…Not Just For Marriages!

Now the Rethuglys are really getting ready to step in it.

It’s “Huntin’ Season Y’all”! And what that means is a lot of Americans who aren’t rich like a Rothschild and own a few hundred prime acres can grab their boots, their cameras or guns, or fishing rods and go out to one of the National Wildlife areas set aside specifically so Average Joe doesn’t have to be a Rothschild to be able to enjoy the wilderness…And hunt and fish like a King.

Now remember, in feudal Europe, hunting preserves were set up for the royalty. Getting caught with a rabbit on the end of your arrow on, or anywhere near the King’s land, usually meant you winding up in far worse shape than the rabbit.

There was a good reason to get rid of Kings.

For years, Republicans have tried to claim all those hunting and fishing and hiking folks as their own. Mistakenly believing the guys in the Izaak Walton League are the same guys in the NRA….Wrong.

Now…An an “unintended consequence” of shutting the Government down…

All those National areas are shut down.

So what is going to happen when the NRA gang can’t take their machine guns and kill some Bambi?

The Government Shutdown Is Hammering Hunters, Fishers, And Their Communities

As the federal government shutdown that began October 1 stretches into its second week, it is now threatening the beginning of hunting and fishing seasons, and hunters, fishers, and sportsmen’s groups aren’t taking that news quietly.

As major hunting seasons begin across the country, seven sportsmen organizations joined on a conference call Monday to call on Congress to end the shutdown, which has closed 329 federal wildlife refuges to hunting and more than 270 to fishing. More than 35 million Americans hunted in 2011, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife survey, and of those, more than half will hunt or fish on public lands at some point in their lives, Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said on the call.

“Sportsmen and women in this country, we have a very financial and very personal stake in this federal budget discussion,” Dr. Steve Williams, president of the Wildlife Management Institute and a former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said. “Frankly, I think that Congress’ failure to act is really a slap in the face to all of us in the country and in particular to 37 million hunters and anglers.”

For some hunters and fishers, that means the loss of a basic yearly ritual: hunting with family or friends for deer, waterfowl, or other animals. For others, it means the loss of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: in states like Colorado or New Mexico, big game hunting licenses can take more than a decade to get, meaning hunters who finally got a license but miss this season may have to wait years for another chance, if another ever comes. For fishers, it means the closure of public lakes, rivers, and boat ramps maintained by federal authorities.

But the major effect is on local communities, small business, and people who depend on hunting and fishing for their livelihoods. The wildlife-related recreation economy is huge: in 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that it amounted to $144 billion annually. That economy is made up of hunters and fishers, birdwatchers and environmental enthusiasts, but also of hunting guides who make their living during major hunting seasons. It includes retailers and businesses that depend on $86 billion in direct hunting- and fishing-related sales. Small communities that have cropped up around public lands depend on revenues generated by hunting- and fishing-related tourism during this time of year. All of that is jeopardized by the shutdown.

“These three months of hunting season are like Christmas to a lot of these rural communities,” Land Tawnyey, the executive director of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, said. “They make all their money in three months. It’s vitally important to their economy.” Tawney said he has already canceled hunts on public lands that would have otherwise taken place, and he’s not alone: hunting trips across the country are facing the effects of the shutdown.

Hunters and fishers also generate more than $1.5 billion in revenues each year through licenses. Since most of those are processed at the state level, they shouldn’t be affected by a shutdown. But some licenses, for waterfowl and other species, are done federally and could be impacted. States could also see a drop in license revenue if hunters stay home because they can’t access public lands, Williams said.

The shutdown is also killing environmental conservation efforts.

And that’s not all: the shutdown is also hampering environment conservation and habitat maintenance efforts on federal lands, as well as efforts to protect endangered species on federal lands.

National Wildlife Refuges, comprised of more than 150 million acres of public land, “are some of the most highly-managed lands in the country,” Desiree Sorenson-Groves, vice president of government affairs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said. This time of year, refuges host hunts of everything from waterfowl to rabbits and small animals to large game. Those hunts come alongside habitat-maintenance and conservation efforts meant to help “mimic some of the natural processes we’ve changed,” she said. Right now, “a lot of the critical habitat work isn’t being done.”

“One of the big factors that we’re seeing is that habitat projects for wildlife that are long-term are being shut down,” Miles Moretti, president and CEO of the Mule Deer Foundation said. “Some of these projects are time-sensitive. They need to be done in the fall. They may not occur this year at all, or they may have to be put off and not done. Those our critical to some of our wildlife species, especially some of our big game animals.”

These industries have already faced the axe from budget cuts and sequestration, as environmental conservation efforts important to hunters and fishers faced budget cuts in recent years, including under sequestration at the beginning of 2013. Sequestration included a 17 percent cut to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Williams said, and the most recent House Republican budget plan includes a 27 percent cut to the service’s budget and includes no funding for land, water, wetland, or wildlife conservation grants. “We’re tired of non-proportional cuts to national resource interests,” he said.

If the government and those lands don’t re-open soon, all of that may be lost, since there’s no delaying hunting season. “Hunting season ends when it ends, when the animals move,” Fosburgh said. If the shutdown doesn’t end before then, there’s no bringing back everything it has already cost America’s hunters and fishers — or the environment and communities that depend on them.

 

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Local Shutdown Toll

No more Head Start. in some states like this safety class in Adrian, Missouri..

This is a State by State listing of damage done so far by the artificial shutdown at the local levels in the States…

Alabama:

  • The Cheaha Regional Head Start in Talladega was closed.

Alaska:

Arizona:

Arkansas:

California:

  • 1,282 marines were furloughed at the Marine Air Ground Task Force Combat Center
  • Movie production was suspended in Angeles National Forest, the L.A. River, the Sepulveda Dam and the West Lost Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center

Colorado:

  • The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit in Grand Junction was closed.

Connecticut:

Delaware:

Florida:

  • Launch preparations for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft were put on hold.

Georgia:

Hawaii:

Idaho:

  • 850 of the state’s National Guard’s civilian workers (half of the total staff) were furloughed.
  • Attorneys were expected to file motions to temporarily halt court proceedings in environmental lawsuits, tort cases and other civil matters.
  • A rescue mission for a missing Boise woman was put on hold Tuesday because workers were furloughed. On Wednesday, Idaho officials announced that they were able to get more boots on the ground to help with the search.

Illinois:

Indiana:

Iowa:

Kansas:

  • The Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site was closed.
  • More than 300 civilian employees were out of work at McConnell Air Force Base.

Kentucky:

Louisiana:

Maine:

Maryland:

Massachusetts:

Michigan:

Minnesota:

  • Air Force Reserve furloughed 300 workers at the 934th Airlift Wing. “How do you feed your family? How do you house your family? It’s ridiculous right now,” said one of those furloughed workers.
  • The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge center closed its sites and locked its gates.

Mississippi:

Missouri:

  • The Columbia Environmental Research Center — a U.S. Geological Survey research facility — was closed.
  • In mid-Missouri, people were no longer allowed to apply in person for a replacement Social Security card or a replacement Medicare card.

Montana:

  • The Bozeman Fish Technology Center, the Bozeman Fish Health Center, the Creston National Fish Hatchery, the hatchery in Ennis and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in Billings all closed.
  • Glacier and Yellowstone national parks were closed to visitors. Those already at the parks were told to leave by Thursday.

Nebraska:

  • The commodity supplemental food program was shut down and food is not being distributed.

Nevada:

New Hampshire:

New Jersey:

  • More than half the 6,700 civilian workers at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst have been furloughed.

New Mexico:

  • The widow of a Forest Service firefighter killed on the job was temporarily denied her late husband’s survivor benefits.
  • Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument was closed.

New York:

North Carolina:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services told 337 employees in the state not to show up for work Wednesday.

North Dakota:

Ohio:

Oklahoma:

  • Officials at Tinker Air Force Base estimated that 2,900 of 14,000 civilian employees were furloughed.

Oregon:

  • Several federal offices in Portland, including the Department of Interior, USDA, GSA and EPA, were closed.

Pennsylvania:

Rhode Island:

South Carolina:

  • Approximately 1,200 federal technicians for the S.C. National Guard were furloughed.

South Dakota:

  • Tribal funds for foster care and other assistance were halted.
  • The Davison County Conservation District was shut down because it operates at an office in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center.

Tennessee:

Texas:

  • Texas Tech students could see delays in financial aid.
  • The George W. Bush Library and Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential librarieswere closed.

Utah:

  • Roughly 65,000 could see support from the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children halted.
  • Half of the state’s national guard full-time workers were furloughed.

Vermont:

Virginia:

Washington:

  • A trip to Washington, D.C., that eighth graders from Washington state had spent more than a year raising money for became a “huge disappointment” due to closures.

West Virginia:

  • 1150 national guard employees were furloughed. “I mean we’ve got folks that aren’t going to get paid. They are going home. And some of them have just come back from war,” said Major General James Hoyer, state adjutant general.

Wisconsin:

  • The state’s Hunger Task Force said it would lose out on 217,000 pounds of food it receives every two weeks from the federal government if the shutdown lasts into mid-October.

Wyoming:

 

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The Last Colony (Washington, DC) Vows to Ignore Shutdown

Washington DC is unique among all principalities in the United States in that Congress – specifically the House – must approve all spending for the city. This means, if there is a Government shutdown the non-emergency city services would be shut down as well. This is particularly galling to DC Residents as it is their tax money paid to the city which operates the government, not Federal monies as is not uncommon in the rest of the country. So Congress has the authority to tell the DC Government how to spend it’s own tax money…

This has led to any umber of disasters as the Republican Congress has forced the city to adopt their confederate policies, such as school vouchers and limits on health care.

The Libraries are toast, too!

So…What happens if there is a shutdown in DC?

1. Parks, museums, and the Zoo closed: All Smithsonian museums, federal monuments, the National Zoo, and public facilities in National Parks like Rock Creek Park would be closed. Because tourists probably won’t realize it in advance, they’ll probably flood downtown Starbuckses and Potbellies with bored out-of-towners.

2. Libraries and recreation centers dark: All D.C. libraries and recreation centers will be closed, giving kids fewer places to hang out after school, which means who knows what kinds of trouble.

3. Department of Public Works off duty: Trash collection would be suspended for a week, as well as street sweeping, which this time of year means some very clogged drains.

4. Circulator offline: While the Metro would stay open and WMATA buses would keep running, D.C.’s super-convenient Circulator buses would have to stay in the garage.

5. Permit offices and the DMV shut: The Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs are closed, meaning even longer lines for licenses, permits, and car registrations when the shutdown eventually ends.

6. No parking enforcement: Okay, you probably don’t mind that so much, but it does cost the city money and could lead to shortfalls down the road.

7. University of the District of Columbia shuttered: You might not be the one with your academic year interrupted, but at least sympathize with the poor students who’ll likely have to make up the class time later.

8. Potential loss of city equipment and buildings: The city has a master lease on pieces of equipment like traffic lights, computers, and public safety vehicles, as well as a contractual agreement to use facilities like the Unified Communications Center, which controls all the city’s emergency systems — as long as payments are made on time. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton warns that they could be repossessed if the city lacks the budget authority to do so. And in any case, ongoing worries about the city’s ability to use its own money could make it more expensive to borrow, which the city has to do every year for capital expenditures.

Yeah…This stops, too!

Mayor Gray designates all of District government ‘essential’ to avoid shutdown

Mayor Vincent C. Gray moved Wednesday to designate the entirety of the District government as “essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property,” in a bid to allow city services to continue during a federal shutdown.

Gray announced his position in a letter to the federal Office of Management and Budget, which is handling preparations for a shutdown that could take place if congressional leaders fail to reach an accord by Oct. 1.

“I am writing to inform you that I have determined that all operations of the government of the District of Columbia are ‘excepted’ activities essential to the protection of public safety, health, and property and therefore will continue to be performed during a lapse in appropriations,” the mayor wrote to budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Gray’s posture is unprecedented for the District government, whose budget comes largely from locally raised taxes and is set by locally elected officials but is ultimately appropriated by Congress. During past shutdowns, in keeping with federal guidance, the city has designated public safety and some other crucial functions as exempt from shutdown but curtailed many city services, including libraries, recreation centers and trash pickup.

The letter comes a day after Gray and D.C. Council members openly debated ways to defy the federal shutdown and keep the city government operating.

On the good side – these guys are out of work!

It is unclear how President Obama’s budget office will respond to Gray’s broad definition of “essential.” Requests for comment made to the agency Tuesday and Wednesday have gone unreturned.

In a statement issued with the letter, Gray said it is “ridiculous” that the District “cannot spend its residents’ own local tax dollars to provide them the services they’ve paid for without Congressional approval.”

“Congress can’t even get its own fiscal house in order; they should be taking lessons from us rather than imposing needless suffering on us,” he said. “I will not allow the safety and well-being of District residents to be compromised by Congress’s dysfunction.”

 

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