As sportsmen we are all starting see some issues with this government shutdown affecting the quality of our outdoor experience. Some way more than others. The closing of the Corps boat ramps seems to be random but very widespread. Sometimes this means a little farther to drive and sometimes it means a well-earned excursion has to be canceled. For businesses things can get a lot worse than that in a very short time. Seasonal businesses simply cannot afford to take a couple of weeks off during the busy season.
Hotels, hunting and fishing guides, bait shops and restaurants are all dependent on the short state mandated seasons to make the majority of their money for the year. To be completely honest we have found most of the people we have talked to have not been completely shut down and have found other ways to gain access for their clients. For most it has cost them increases in the time and money they need to spend to make less than last year.
I normally don’t do political stuff but unmanned boat ramps and federal forest were closed to access under the guise of funding, To me this is just ridiculous. They tell us even with these cuts (that mainly affect working people) they will run out of money very soon. Well my first thought was didn’t they run out of money 16.7 trillion dollars ago and how is closing unmanned access sites going to help.
Some state governments have done a good job of fighting back where they can to get these sites open when possible. You are going to have to be careful out there some water and forest lands are still “open” if you can gain access some are closed to all occupancy. 17 million hunters use federal forest land every year with 600 million acres closed this could be a big problem. Make sure to check with local or state authorities to be sure not to be in violation of federal trespass laws before venturing out into the woods.
We all have our own opinion on whom to blame for this mess but we must all agree that what is good for the people should always come first. Playing games with people’s lives and livelihood for political reasons is never okay. Call or e-mail who you need to and vote how you feel you must to make sure this doesn’t happen the same way again. This is surely not the last time the government will disagree and make the people pay for it but we need to let them know that we are watching them and they will be held accountable.