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Government Shutdown Closes S. Indiana Forest Service Offices

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The Forest Service closed some of its Indiana offices because of the shutdown (Courtesy Hoosier National Forest Facebook).

The partial federal government shutdown has closed U.S. Forest Service offices in southern Indiana and limited access to some federal properties.

The Forest Service closed its Bedford and Tell City offices when the shutdown began Dec. 22. Those offices are part of the Hoosier National Forest, which spans 204,000 acres from the Bloomington area to the Ohio River.

The Herald-Times reports that the Hardin Ridge Recreation Area at Lake Monroe is empty and gates to all but one campground area were closed Wednesday.

A call to Bloomington’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Field Office was directed to a voicemail message which stated the office is closed due to the current lapse of federal appropriations.

The message said the office would remain closed until further notice.

According to a shutdown contingency plan for the Fish and Wildlife Service, 968 employees are exempt from the shutdown. This includes personnel who perform essential duties for the protection of life and property, including emergency personnel, animal caretakers, and refuge law enforcement officers.

The National Park Service notes in their contingency plan that parks will not operate during the shutdown period.

There will also be no visitor services provided.

Alex Eady contributed to this report. 

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