Shutdown affects national wildlife refuges

The partial government shutdown is taking its toll on national wildlife refuges. E&E News reports on a list of impacts, including vandalism and garbage dumping, at refuges across the country. “There are people taking advantage of a situation where there isn’t a huge refuge presence,” Desiree Sorenson-Groves, vice president for government affairs of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, told the news service. Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii has closed, as have some refuges that charge fees. The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida is out of envelopes, so visitors are unable to pay. E&E News reports that only 1,331 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services employees may keep working while more than 7,000 employees are furloughed until Congress passes a budget ending the shutdown. “The news is full of stories of national parks being trashed, the National Wildlife Refuge Association posted on its blog, and Refuge staff are working hard to prevent the same on refuges.”

Read more from the NWRA here.

Header Image: The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge remains closed due to the partial government shutdown. ©Megan Nagel/USFWS