, Port Arthur, Texas


October 9, 2013

Chester Moore column: Government shutdown raises serious outdoors issues





    By the time this story hits, the government shutdown could be over.

    It is doubtful but it is a possibility as this dramatic play of political maneuvering takes place.

    Whether you agree with it or not, it certainly raises interesting questions for the hunting and fishing community.

     Right now, several hundred thousand acres of national forests are off limits to bowhunters and squirrel hunters.

    If duck season were open now, we would not be able to hunt Texas Point, McFaddin, Anahuac or Sabine National Wildlife Refuges locally along with many more areas in the state.

    In other areas, it is impacting fishing and boating.

    According to the Miami Herald, “Fishing guides were notified this week that the 281-square-mile Biscayne National Park would be closed until further notice. Most of that park is comprised of water.”

    “Everglades National Park also was closed, putting almost all of Florida Bay off limits. In an email, Park Superintendent Dan Kimball said the closure applies to fishing guides, kayakers and pleasure boaters.”

     The late Ed Holder who was the Outdoors Editor of the Port Arthur News for decades told me once we were blessed to have public waterfowl hunting but the more land that went to the federal government the more problems we could have down the line.

    This political play will probably be over soon but there is something about this I cannot shake.

    We are headed for financial disaster in America if we do not change our ways. Real problems could lie ahead and even if we avert them, we will have to cut spending at the federal level.

    They simply cannot keep doing what they are doing and expect to sustain things. Impossible.

    Let us say if it comes to the point where they decide to or are forced to cut budgets of wildlife refuges, national forests, etc. will access be cut out?

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