Last updated: October 06. 2013 2:22AM - 908 Views
The Associated Press

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MEDINA, N.Y. — Government agencies aren’t the only things frozen by the U.S. government shutdown.

A bald eagle that died is on ice in upstate New York.

The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports that volunteer wildlife rehabilitator Wendi Pencille of Medina normally sends eagle carcasses to the National Eagle Repository run by U.S. Fish and Wildlife outside Denver.

But as the shutdown loomed, Pencille says repository staff told her not to ship the eagle because no one would be there to receive it.

Pencille says she considered sending it to Congress instead.

For now, it remains in a freezer at the Bless the Beasts Foundation Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Medina, 40 miles west of Rochester.

In Vermont, the federal government shutdown means that federal lands will be closed to hunters, anglers and other users during the foliage season.

In the Northeast Kingdom Nulhegan Basin Division and Putney Mountain Unit of the Silvio Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge have closed to public.

The Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge is Swanton also is closed.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry says the shutdown comes during one of the state’s busiest seasons for hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing. He says this is a time when rural communities across Vermont really count on the local revenues generated by hunting and fishing activities.

In fact, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is suspending operations nationwide due to the federal government shutdown.

For Minnesota, that means 13 national wildlife refuges, eight wetland management districts, one ecological services office and the Midwest Regional Office are closed. The closures affect more than 489,000 acres of land in Minnesota.

The partial shutdown of the federal government has made more than 128,000 acres of wildlife refuges and other lands off limits in Illinois.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Saturday that it has closed lands and facilities nationwide.

In Illinois, the agency has shut eight national wildlife refuges, as well as offices and facilities located throughout the state.

It has canceled all recreational activities at those locations, including hunting, fishing, environmental education and public events.

Throughout its eight-state Midwest region, the agency has put more than 800 employees on unpaid furlough and closed more than 1.2 million acres of federal public land.

Indiana has seen the postponement of the public opening of a 1,000-acre southwestern Indiana nature preserve that’s home to river otters, bobcats and rare bird species.

The Columbia Mine Preserve had been scheduled to open to the public Saturday for hiking, bird-watching, and photography.

But Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge manager Bill McCoy tells the Princeton Daily Clarion the public opening of the preserve about 25 miles northeast of Evansville has been postponed until after the shutdown ends.

The Patoka wildlife refuge shares management responsibility of the adjoining Columbia Mine Preserve with the Sycamore Land Trust. All federal parks and wildlife areas have been temporarily shuttered by the shutdown.

McCoy says about 80 percent of U.S. Fish and Wildlife workers have been furloughed.

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