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Fish & Wildlife Service

News Release
Haw aiian and Pacific Islands Nat'l Wildlife Refuges 300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 5-231 Honolulu, Haw aii 96850 808.792.9540

Date : Contact:

October 1, 2013 Barry Stieglitz by email


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suspends Operations Due to Federal Government Lapse in Appropriations Impacts to Pacific Islands National Wildlife Refuges
Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will suspend most programs and operations, including public access to all National Wildlife Refuges and all activities on refuge lands including hunting and fishing. Specifically, in the Pacific, all 22 units of the National Wildlife Refuge System will be closed. Most noticeable to the local and visiting public is the closure of visitor centers at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge in Dededo, Klauea Point National Wildlife Refuge in Klauea, and Kelia Pond National Wildlife Refuge in Khei. The Boardwalk at Kelia Pond National Wildlife Refuge in Khei will also be closed, along with the rest of the refuges. Both National Wildlife Refuges in the Papahnaumokukea Marine National Monument Midway Atoll and Hawaiian Islands are also closed, potentially impacting groups with permits to access the refuge islands later this week. Henderson Airfield will remain open to serve as a certified ETOPS site. An extended shutdown could affect special events scheduled for National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 13-19. Additional information about impacts to these events will be provided as necessary. Closing off public access to our national wildlife refuges and public lands is the last thing we want to do, bu t is consistent with operations called for during a government shutdown said Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe. This is difficult news for the families, birdwatchers, hunters and anglers, and recreationists who enjoy the great outdoors on the refuges as well as for the many local businesses who depend on the tourism and outdoor recreation economy they generate. I think its most difficult for the thousands of furloughed Service employees who are impacted in carrying out their miss ion to protect our nations resources and providing for their families. Main impacts to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from the lapse in appropriated funding include: All 561 National wildlife refuges are closed to public access. Visitor centers and other buildings are closed. The National Wildlife Refuge System hosts more than 46.5 million people per year, and generates more than $342 million in local, county, state and federal tax income. Refuges also support more than 35,000 private-sector jobs. All activities on federal lands and in public buildings are canceled. This includes hunting and fishing activities on refuge lands.

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No permitting work or consultations will occur with respect to the Endangered Species Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species, the Lacey Act or the National Environmental Policy Act. The shutdown will affect more than 7,000 Service employees, who are furloughed until an appropriation is passed. Employees and others may not volunteer their services on behalf of Service functions or on federal lands.

Services and programs that will remain operational fall into the following exempted categories: Programs financed by sources other than annual appropriations. Activities expressly authorized by law. Activities necessary to protect life and property. Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration. Natural Resource Damage Assessment Fund activities Refuge Law Enforcement emergency operations Firefighting emergency operations Care and feeding activities at hatcheries and captive breeding facilities.

Because the website will not be maintained, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website will be down for the duration of the shutdown. Additional information will be available at as well as at, which will contain information about the governments operating status on Tuesday, Oct.1, 2013, and the days following.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at


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