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Hastings Letter to Chief Tidwell Requesting Answers Regarding Decision to Close National Forests During the Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 11, 2013 -

Dear Chief Tidwell:

The Committee on Natural Resources ("Committee") requests that the U.S. Forest Service take steps as necessary to keep and not destroy documents related to the recent decisions to order certain activities located on National Forest System lands to cease operations, including grazing, concessionaires, and other privately-funded businesses, while allowing others to remain open for business.

According to recent media reports, a Forest Service spokesman has advised campground operators that these facilities must be shut down due to the lapse in appropriations, and that this action is being undertaken to be consistent with closings that have been implemented by the National Park Service. Most disturbingly, many of these concessionaires have stated that their facilities were not ordered closed during previous government shutdowns and were initially told they could remain open. The Forest Service has seemingly reversed course, as closure orders were given to campground operators and ranchers a week after the lapse in appropriations first occurred.

Read the entire letter HERE.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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