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Wisconsin and Walker Defy Obama, Keep State Parks Open

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On October 3, 2013 @ 4:15 pm In The Point | 11 Comments

No Barackades here

Hopefully more Republican governors will stand up to Obama’s shutdown theater which is one of the few ways to push back against Obama and his media allies.

The state Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday refused a directive from the National Park Service to close a host of popular state properties because of the federal government shutdown.

The park service ordered state officials to close the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine, Devil’s Lake, and Interstate state parks and the state-owned portion of the Horicon Marsh, but state authorities rebuffed the request because the lion’s share of the funding came from state, not federal coffers.

DNR issued a statement saying all state parks, trails and other recreational properties were open and not affected by the federal government’s budget problems.

If the State was capable of keeping these parks open and staffed, why did the shutdown order come down? It came down for the same reason as the shutdowns of national monuments in public spaces that are kept open even when not staffed.

It’s about power and control.

The agency also reopened a boat launch Wednesday at Wyalusing State Park on the Mississippi River. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed the launch on Tuesday because it was on federal land.

So now we’ve got a direct confrontation. Except the National Park Service isn’t likely to throw its weight around against a state the way that it did against a single colonial farm.

But in a sign of defiance, the DNR removed the barricades at the landing, saying it had the legal authority to operate the launch under a 1961 agreement with the federal government.

Since the State of Wisconsin has the right to operate it, there was no basis for shutting it down except Obama’s Shutdown Theater.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed all its properties, including the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge and the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. The agency said that fishing and hunting on those lands were prohibited.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest also was closed. But the status of hunting and fishing on the 1.5 million acres was unclear. DNR officials gave no indication they would try to stop the public from using the forests.

Well they’re forests. You can’t expect the government to spend money keeping a forest open. Are they shutting down the mountains?

What about the Pacific Ocean? I hear it costs a lot to keep that thing running and requires a full-time staff.

On Wednesday, state and federal authorities came to loggerheads over access to state land when the Park Service directed the DNR to close properties in which the state and the federal government had a cooperative financial agreement…

On Tuesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was closing the federal portion of the sprawling Horicon Marsh, which attracts thousands of visitors during the fall bird migration.

I wonder if the Barackades will keep the birds out?

“Fall is one of the best times of the year to get out and enjoy the 1.5 million acres of state owned land in Wisconsin,” said Cathy Stepp, Department of Natural Resources secretary. “We welcome visitors to visit our state parks and forests… climb one of our observation towers and take in the beautiful fall colors, bike or hike our state trails, and hunt or fish on our many state wildlife and fisheries areas.”

Not if Obama has anything to say about it.


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