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Conservation Congress thanks Wisconsin for keeping public lands open


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - The Conservation Congress is thanking Wisconsin for keeping public lands open while the government shutdown was underway.

The group especially thanked the Department of Natural Resources for pointing out which portions of public land were open while federally managed properties were closed. WCC chair Rob Bohmann says, “The Department has also done a great job of identifying public land and water accesses that are owned or managed by state or local municipalities which are still available for the public to use. DNR officials have gone the extra mile trying to get the word out about that.”

The federal shutdown closed off the Apostle Islands Lakeshore and the Chequamegon and Nicolet National Forests. Federal officials were also calling for the closure of lands managed through federal funding, but the DNR declined to close any of those regions where they have control.

“I respect the gravity of the situation the federal government is dealing with, but there are a lot of Wisconsinites that wait all year for the fall season to come around--for hunting, bird watching, and viewing the spectacular foliage,” Bohmann said. “It would be really unfortunate if they were unable to participate in these activities because they were denied access to public land.”

State, local and county properties remained open through the shutdown.