Federal Parks Reopen, Employees Back At Work

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By: Bailey Myers
October 17, 2013

Tallahassee FL- The government shutdown is officially over, and that means furloughed workers were returning to their jobs today.

After a 16-day partial shutdown thousands of dollars was lost. Fishermen and their rods returned to the waters of St. Marks Wildlife Refuge today after the National Park was put on furlough notice sixteen days ago.

One St. Marks Wildlife Refuge Visitor Larry Steward said, "It's quiet, it's pristine, it's beautiful. You get to keep the fish if you can catch them! Yeah, there is nothing wrong with this facility. No, it's not the facility, it's our government is the problem."

Frustrated visitors were excited to hear the gates of their favorite fishing and boating spots were open again. The visitors aren't the only ones excited to see it open again.

Refuge Manager Terry Peacock said, "We are open for business so come on down and enjoy your refuge! We are sorry we had to close it down during these three weeks and we are happy to have you back."

While this refuge was closed they suspect they lost around $6,500 in entrance fees alone. Another four thousand dollars was projected to have been lost from sales with their books store. With 20 employees deemed 'non-essential' by government standards, St. Marks employees and visitors both hope another shut down isn't in the near future.

Peacock said, "I hope that they are going to actually pass a budget this time and move forward so that we can have a little certainty cause right now we don't know what we are going to get except for that three months worth of budget..."

The measure Obama signed last night restores government funding through January 15th. Legislators will have to make a decision on the budget after that deadline. Other local business furloughed like Head Start are getting federal funding again.

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