The Wilderness Society and 27 other conservation, recreation and outdoor industry groups have joined together to urge Congress to end the government shutdown.
The coalition includes university and military recreation programs, conservation and service corps, experiential and environmental education providers, regional recreation and trail organizations and outdoor industry groups.
The shutdown, now entering its third week, has closed federal public lands and furloughed agency staff that manage those lands. As a result, organizations that provide valuable outdoor experiences to youth, families and veterans have been forced to find new destinations for their programs. Likewise, conservation and service corps that provide crews to perform valuable maintenance and restoration work on federal lands have been forced to alter their plans until the shutdown is over.
The coalition letter makes the case that the shutdown is broadly impacting programs provided by non-governmental organizations, even in situations where no physical barrier to entry has been put in place.
These organizations rely on the collaborative management and protection provided by agency personnel, and cannot safely or effectively run their programs without agency support.