Government shutdown affects Alaska outdoors agencies

By Chris Cocoles on Oct. 2, 2013

It’s now day two of the shutting down of the federal government here in the good ole U.S.A. And I don’t know what to make of this mess right now, and frankly, you probably wouldn’t care what I think anyway! And I’m too embarrassed to even want to rip on both Republicans and Democrats for failing us right now.

But this is an outdoors blog, so here’s a story about how Alaska’s government agencies involving the state’s critical natural resources are handling the national crisis.

A couple of highlights (lowlights?) from the report:

The National Park Service closed up shop in Fairbanks and Denali Park for the most part on Tuesday, as did the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There were a handful of “essential” employees at each agency still on the job to make sure buildings don’t freeze up and to respond in the event of any emergencies on federal lands.

Managers at all 14 national wildlife refuges in Alaska, including four in Fairbanks, remained on the job Monday but most other refuge workers stayed home.

Visitors to web sites for the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were either re-routed or directed to the Department of the Interior web site where they could read a message from President Barrack Obama regarding the government shutdown. All social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook were also shut down on Monday.

In other words, or in this instance, one word: CHAOS!