You can be sure that Congress is getting itchy when even hunters are squawking about the federal government shutdown.
A release Friday from the National Wild Turkey Federation notes that “countless hunters depend on federal lands for their hunting activities, and the closure of lands controlled by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies is placing an unfair burden on sportsmen.”
National parks don’t actually allow hunting, but we’ll let that go by for now.
The group raises an issue that is confronting outdoors folk of every ilk: “Not only has the closure of public lands proved to be difficult but the lack of information available about the status of various lands and facilities is creating barriers to hunting. Hunters are investing hard-earned money and time to travel, sometimes hundreds of miles, to their planned hunting locations only to find them closed.”
Substitute hikers, campers or climbers, etc., in place of “hunters” in that statement and it covers a problem faced by many. While some public lands remain open, the Catch 22 is that there’s nobody available to ask whether your favorite spot is among those. So unless we’re willing to roll the dice, drive hours and hope for the best, we’re staying home.
People are getting cranky.
Oh, and there’s the economic impact. The turkey hunters remind us that hunters alone added $87 billion to the economy in 2011.