HUNTING -- Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge officials are hoping Congress sorts out its issues, passes a budget and reverses the government shutdown that went into effect today.
Refuge manager Dan Matiatos told state wildlife officials that if the shutdown continues through the weekend, hunters with special elk controlled-hunt permits will not be allowed on the refuge.
Refuge staff pans to contact affected hunters beginning tomorrow, but they're holding off as long as possible to see if things get sorted out today. Washington muzzleloader elk hunts open Saturday.
Following is a press release just issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding area refuges:
Cheney, WA - The Federal Government will be closed as current funding expired on September 30, 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is very much aware that any lapse in appropriations imposes hardships on those we serve. Due to this event, the Turnbull and Inland Northwest National Wildlife Refuge Complex office will be closed to the public.
For programs experiencing a lapse in appropriated funding, only limited functions would continue, such as those necessary to respond to emergencies and to protect human life or property. While a lapse in appropriations remains in effect, public access to Service properties will be prohibited and fish and wildlife management activities and public programs will be cancelled. All Refuge field trips and school programs, hunts, and public access will be canceled during the shutdown.
Additional information is available at DOI.gov/shutdown and oneINTERIOR.gov, as well as at OPM.gov, which will contain information about the government’s operating status on Tuesday, October 1, and the days following.