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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane lessons learned from the last government shutdown: it’s inconvenient, expensive and stings the poor

From staff reports

When the federal government shut down in October 2013, people were left without paychecks, without food assistance, and in some cases, without a place to camp.

The shutdown rippled through federal agencies across the Inland Northwest, from the U.S. attorney’s office, to mine safety research labs. The IRS stopped its work briefly.

There are some 5,000 people on the federal payroll in Spokane County. And many more rely on government assistance such as poor families who receive help to buy food.

Here’s just a sampling of a few other things that happened around the region during the 2013 shutdown:

  • Fairchild Air Force Base announced furloughs affecting 300 civilian workers and 248 inactive National Guardsmen, but its tankers still flew refueling missions.
  • The Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area barricaded boat ramps and campgrounds. The visitors center and information office in Kettle Falls were shuttered.
  • Campers on national park lands were ordered to leave campgrounds.
  • Most services on lands maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management were suspended, including the issuance of new oil and gas leases and permits.
  • Boat ramps at Lake Pend Oreille operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were closed.
  • The Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge closed.