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Shutdown halts project at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge
LOLETA- The federal government reopened Thursday, which means federal workers along the North Coast returned to work for the first time in 16 days. However, in the days leading up to the final decision, agencies along the North Coast were already preparing.
"We tried to get the most important things done, but it did interfere," said Eric Nelson, manager of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The visitor center was closed, scheduled events were cancelled, and even a few projects were delayed that had been in the works for the past year.
One of the habitat restoration projects had been planned specifically during this time of year while the dirt is still dry, but when the government shut down, the project came to a halt and it reduced the amount of restoration accomplished for the year.
"We were trying to get done the construction work before the rainy season,” said Nelson, “It would be nice to have that 16 days back, that is a lot of dirt that we could have moved."
On average nearly 100 people visit the park per day, and many travelers from out of state were happy to see it reopened,
“We found out that it was opened from my sister-in-law who lives in the area, and we were excited to come and visit," said Oregon resident Mike Chesser.
And although visitors were welcomed back, many out of town visitors like Peter Schneider said they were concerned that it might happen again, “Lets hope that it stays open and the kind of maneuver that was pulled does not repeat itself.”