Offices of federal lands remain closed


The federal government partial shutdown surpassed the two week mark last weekend. The shutdown began on December 22, 2018. This shut down marks the 21st in the country’s history, and the third under President Trump.

Congress reached an impasse due to border security funding under the appropriations bill, which resulted in the partial shutdown.

The effect of the shutdown on National Parks is prevalent in the news. Reports of trash, poaching, and off trail use in parks without the regular supervision of employees was reported throughout the country.
Even though Tucker County does not possess a National Park within its county lines, it does have its fair share of federal land.

The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and National Forest properties are contained within the county. United States Fish and Wildlife and United States Forest Service operate offices out of the valley and Parsons, respectively.

The kiosk outside the Canaan Valley Refuge reads, “Visitor Center closed under further notice.” Without the essential and non-essential personnel staffing regular posts, visitor services and regular maintenance goes without. The lands themselves remain open without daily services available.

The effect of the government shutdown is felt throughout the state as well.

In their “2019 Government Shutdown Report,” the personal finance website WalletHub ranked the most and least affected states. “WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics,” the report read. The report’s metrics included the number of federal jobs in each state, federal contract dollars per capita, and the percentage of families receiving food stamps.

West Virginia ranked seventh. States with the highest numbers of federal jobs and federal contract dollars, such as District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, ranked in the top 10.

On Wednesday, January 2, recently reelected U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., stated, “I have always said we should never shut down the government, and governing this way is embarrassing for both Democrats and Republicans. This partial government shutdown affects every American, including the 18,000 federal employees in West Virginia.”

The 2019 U.S. Congress reconvened last week with a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives, their first in eight years.