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Winds of change?

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

First of all, I have to say that I’m glad that someone had some brains in their head and opened up the closed gates to the World War II Memorial for those veterans that came to visit today in Washington DC.  These veterans are now in their 80’s and 90’s and deserve to see their memorial after giving so much to the freedom of this country.  Perhaps the members of Congress should have seen the faces of those brave souls as they were denied entrance because of shutting down the government. 

On my home front, the winds were howling today as staff arrived with four hours to shut down the refuge.  It was kind of sad to see.

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I had been assured yesterday, that if there was a shutdown, I would be allowed to stay here anyway.  That was a big relief to me.  I just couldn’t imagine having to get out and setting up an appointment for my refrigerator all over again somewhere else.

Pine Lake

I thought some of you might be interested to know the impact of the shutdown on an individual refuge.  First of all, the staff had to leave by noon today, except for the refuge manager.  All work came to a halt.  There will be no more surveys, no more work on invasive species, and no public access.

No public access means no fishing, hunting, or leaf peeping.  (I’m glad I was able to get out for tonight’s photos before the shutdown.)  There are two county roads that run through the refuge, and they remain open, but all other roads and trails are officially closed.  All educational school programs have been cancelled.  If the shutdown isn’t taken care of by tomorrow night, the Tamarac NWR Fall Festival on Saturday will be cancelled as well.  This is a major yearly occurrence on the refuge, and much work has gone into the preparation for this event.  It’s a shame to see it all go for naught, let alone losing the chance to acquaint so many attendees with the joys of nature and the refuge.

Otter Tail River

As a volunteer, I’m also not allowed to do anything except exist here.  I’m not allowed to work on anything having to do with the refuge.  So I’ll work on enjoying my enforced time off, buy some more ice, and get my extend-a-stay propane tank filled up.  There is an outside chance of some snow flurries this weekend, so I want to be sure I have enough heat. 

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The great Minnesota ice storm on Halloween is lurking in the back of my mind.  I think it happened some time in the early 90’s.  I sure hope I’m not here to see Halloween, but I’d rather not run out of propane in the big tank in the motorhome in the mean time.  Freezing

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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