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Thursday, October 3, 2013
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Shutdown Curtails Hunting & Fishing on Arkansas Federal Lands
LITTLE ROCK - The federal government shutdown is affecting fishing and hunting on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuges and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes in Arkansas. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is reminding anglers, hunters, hikers, campers and others that the federal shutdown could change their plans.

AGFC Director Mike Knoedl said the federal government shutdown could influence people's outdoor recreation plans in Arkansas. "If you're heading for federal wildlife refuges to scout, hunt or fish, that activity is prohibited," Knoedl said. "Arkansas Game and Fish Commission lands will remain open and our officers will be on duty," he added.

USFWS land and facilities are closed due to the lapse in appropriation for 2014. For more information on the shutdown, go to http://www.doi.gov/shutdown/index.cfm.

If there is not a resolution before next week, there will be no hunting allowed within the Buffalo National River boundary. That could possibly affect the elk hunt for next week.

Gates to all U.S. Forest Service use areas will be locked where applicable and use areas will be closed. However, the forests will remain open to public recreation.

Knoedl said boat ramps may also be closed, which impacts access to Corps lakes. "Closures may include visitor centers and gates on all access points," he said. Wildlife management areas leased by the AGFC on Corps property will be open and managed by the AGFC. Boat launch ramps inside Corps campgrounds will be inaccessible. All other launch ramps will be open.

Before heading out to your favorite Arkansas Corps lake, go to http://www.usace.army.mil/ or call 501-324-5551 to find out about public access.

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