Those federal workers who are considered essential are still on the job, including law enforcement. National Monuments and wildlife refuges only have minimal staffing, but are open to visitors and hunters. Chuck Traxler is a regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“At most of our national wildlife refuges, we follow state hunting seasons, so if there is a legal hunting season going on and that refuge is open to that hunting, it’s open to the public to use,” Traxler says. “I would add, we do have law enforcement folks that are all on duty.” Those federal facilities in Iowa have not been vacated, he assures.
“There will be staff at every refuge, just doing the essential stuff to make sure public equipment is safe and secure,” Traxler says, “just to make sure in case something breaks or there’s any kind of emergency maintenance needed.”
The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch is closed due to the government shutdown, and National Weather Service offices in Iowa will keep forecasting, but social media updates are limited. Funding for parts of the federal government ran out at midnight Friday as President Donald Trump and members of Congress bicker over building a wall along the southern U.S. border.
(Thanks to Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)