America's National Wildlife Refuge System was designated by President Theodore Roosevelt more than 100 years ago, and is widely considered one of the nation's crowning conservation achievements.
Public lands are so economically important that seven states spent over $2 million out of their already strapped budgets to open federal lands during the last week of the 16-day government shutdown.
By Andrea Imler
The federal government reopened Thursday, Oct. 16 after Congress passed a short-term budget deal to fund the government through Jan. 15.
As a result, federal agencies like the National Park Service have been allowed to reopen. At least, for now.
Would-be tourists to our national parks, monuments and refuges have met with closed gates and huge disappointment over the past 16 days of the government shutdown.
After 16 disastrous days, the government shutdown is finally over, but only at tremendous cost to America's outdoor recreation economy.
The Wilderness Society and 27 other conservation, recreation and outdoor industry groups have joined together to urge Congress to end the government shutdown.
This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would have been celebrating one of the crowning conservation achievements of America.
President Obama has vowed to urge Congress to designate new wilderness in the Refuge. Encourage him to keep fighting for this threatened land.