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News: Government dysfunction a slow-motion disaster for fish resources

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Posted on October 2, 2013 by Marshall Cutchin / MidCurrent

x2GUp.AuSt.91In addition to the estimated $760 million in daily income lost by communities and businesses bordering federal parks, the halt in collection of license fees and taxes that feed directly into wildlife restoration and protection, and the immediate human impact of work lost by guides and outfitters, the U.S. government shut-down that began Tuesday morning may also have lasting effects on conservation.

Take Trout Unlimited, for example. In a conference call hosted minutes ago by TU’s Keith Curley, Zach Cochrum, Chris Hunt, and Steve Moyer, vice president of government affairs, it became clear that there are both immediate and time-sensitive impacts.  The following examples were mentioned:

This week’s Wild Trout Symposium in West Yellowstone, MT, where scientists and researchers meet to share information and plan projects and is scheduled once every three years, has been cancelled.

TU’s flood response efforts after the devastation of recent weeks on Colorado’s front range have been put on hold.

Tens of thousand of dollars of telemetry equipment used to track trout species in Yellowstone National Park is inaccessible and in danger of being lost.

Dozens if not hundred of other “boots-on-the-ground” projects like mine cleanup, stream restoration, and even fencing streams to keep cows out are halted, since in many cases TU leverages government funding to help offset the costs.

And as TU’s Steve Moyer pointed out, “There’s the potential that the contractors who are on hand to do the major lifting in larger projects will move on to more predictable work.”

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