Federal offices, wildlife refuges, campgrounds and picnic areas shut down
Temporary barriers bar visitors from entering the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge tour loops, visitor center, and trail heads. A closed sign is taped to the door of the U. S. Bureau of Land Management field office in Socorro.
“We’re closed for business,” said BLM Socorro Field Office manager Danita Burns as she took a break outside the back door of the local office building Tuesday morning.
According to a local source, federal employees were told to report to their offices Tuesday morning and drop off government issued cell phones and lap tops. They were cautioned not to take any temporary jobs during the furlough because of conflict of interest issues.
Furloughs mean hardship and inconvenience for everyone.
“We don’t get paid,” Burns said. In the past, employees were paid back pay after government shut downs caused furloughs, but Burns is not sure that will be the case this time.
Most, but not all, local federal employees will be furloughed.
A BLM ranger will be kept on the payroll to watch over public lands in Socorro and Catron Counties, she said.
“I have an accepted ranger who will take care of the BLM’s 1.5 million acres,” she said. Local law enforcement will help monitor BLM land for illegal activities during the government shut down.
Who is closed, who is not:
• Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Tour loops, visitor center, trail head parking lots closed
• Mid-West New Mexico CAP-Head Start
All services open, including Wednesday food distribution
• Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge
All facilities closed
• U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Socorro Field Office closed
Datil Wells Campground closed
Socorro Nature Area in Lemitar closed
All BLM trails and lands open
• U. S. Department of Agriculture
All offices closed, including the local Natural Resources Conservation Service office
• U. S. Forest Service
Water Canyon Campground and group site — gates will be shut and locked.
Other Forest Service campgrounds and picnic areas will be closed, but not barricaded. Trash will not be picked up, so visitors need to pack out their refuse.
All Forest Service trails and lands will be open
• U. S. Post Office
All offices open for regular business hours