Government shutdown impacts local agencies - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Government shutdown impacts local agencies

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A study released Monday that Montana is seventh, out of the top ten states, most affected by this shutdown. As congress puts the government back to work, we wanted to see how the shutdown impacted agencies in our area.

At the Bureau of Land Management office in Billings, there are signs on the door that state the office is closed until further notice. Al Nash is a spokesperson for BLM and his voicemail has changed since the government shutdown began saying due to the government shutdown, he will be out of the office until further notice. KULR-8 reached out to Nash over the weekend to learn more about how a sustained government shutdown could impact the agency.

BLM released a statement Monday morning stating that all offices would remain closed until further notice. This also impacts campgrounds, visitor centers, and other recreation offices. However, BLM remains ready and able to respond to emergency's such as wildland fires.

State agencies are not being impacted and likely won't be unless a long term shutdown goes into effect.

"Wildlife management for some of our education programs," Bob Gibson with the Fish, Wildlife, & Parks said. "Those are all managed and sent to us through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shuts down and then those checks may or may not flow in."

Fish, Wildlife, & Parks works closely with local agencies to make sure land and animals are protected. They, as well as other agencies, have contingency plans for government shut downs.

"Day to day while we work closely with the federal government on a number of levels," Gibson said. "We can continue to do our work about the federal government working cooperatively with us for a day or two."

Other local agencies such as the department of commerce and the national guard did initiate furloughs.

KULR-8 reached out to a host of other agencies across the state. Several declined to comment... there's a fear that doing so could result in cuts to their federal funding.

With the shutdown coming to an end, the signs at BLM will be removed from the doors. Al Nash said the office will reopen Tuesday morning.

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