The status of campgrounds and recreation sites on the Shawnee National Forest remained unclear this morning since the government shut down with all inquiries since Monday being directed from the Shawnee Forest Headquarters to the U.S. Forest Service in Washington, D.C.
Multiple calls went unreturned by this morning's press time. This morning a sign on the front door of the Shawnee National Forest Harrisburg headquarters read, "Due to an appropriations lapse, this office is closed. We regret any inconvenience."
The Shawnee National Forest feed on Twitter reads, "Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this channel will not be updated until the federal government reopens."
Calls this morning to the Shawnee National Forest resulted in an automated message that then forwarded an operator who said someone would be returning the call regarding campgrounds and recreation sites on the forest. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site at usda.gov indicated it would be unavailable until the shutdown is lifted and later in the morning included links with information on shut down procedures for the various departments. Presumably, if sites on the forest are closed the roads will be blocked by locked yellow gates at some point today.
A press release from the Farm Service Administration stated FSA offices are also closed.
Rend Lake Recreation Area is impacted by the shutdown, according to a release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Beginning Tuesday and continuing through the end of the shutdown no new visitors will be allowed into or reservations accepted for USACE recreation facilities.
In the event of a shutdown, campers who are on site prior to the shutdown going into effect will be required to vacate campgrounds not later than 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2. These campers may elect to leave their campsite reservations open for possible use after the shutdown is lifted. Campers will receive a refund for any unused portion of their reservations.
Customers scheduled to arrive while the shutdown is in effect may cancel their reservations for a full refund. These customers may also elect to leave reservations open for possible use after the shutdown is lifted and request a refund for any unused portion of their reservation due to the shutdown. To request a refund contact the reservation customer service at 1-888-448-1474 (TDD 1-877-833-6777). The reservation service will automatically cancel reservations after a customer's scheduled departure date during the shutdown period if the customer chooses to do nothing.
Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge is closed and all public activities are canceled due to the government shutdown, according to a release from the refuge.
Only limited functions will continue, such as those necessary to respond to emergencies, perform essential functions and to protect human life or personal property.
Page 2 of 2 - Additional information is available at www.DOI.gov/shutdown.