Due to a lapse in appropriations that has caused a federal government shutdown, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities and lands are now closed to the public and public use activities have been suspended nationwide. This includes all National Wildlife Refuges, Waterfowl Production Areas, National Fish Hatcheries, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Offices and Ecological Services Offices.
In Missouri the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed nine national wildlife refuges, one ecological services office, one national fish hatchery and one fish and wildlife coordination office totaling more than 61,000 acres of land.
Squaw Creek, Swan Lake, Great River, Clarence Cannon, Big Muddy, Middle Mississippi, Pilot Knob, Mingo and Ozark Cavefish national wildlife refuges and Neosho National Fish Hatchery are all now closed to public access and any events scheduled at these facilities have been cancelled. In addition, the Columbia Fish and Wildlife Coordination Office, Ecological Services Office and Private Lands Office are also closed.
Wildlife-related recreational activities on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands, such as hunting, fishing, environmental education or other public events scheduled at any of these facilities are cancelled.
We are asking the public to delay their plans to visit any of these locations until U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and facilities are re-opened.
In the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which covers the states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, more than 800 employees have been placed in unpaid furlough status and 55 national wildlife refuges, 12 wetland management districts, six national fish hatcheries and more than 1.2 million acres of federal public lands are closed.
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.