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Government shutdown affects Indiana farmers, forest services

Posted at 5:51 AM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 05:51:19-05

BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) — The partial federal government shutdown has closed U.S. Forest Service offices in southern Indiana and limited access to some federal properties.

The Forest Service closed its Bedford and Tell City offices when the shutdown began Dec. 22. Those offices are part of the Hoosier National Forest, which spans 204,000 acres (82,556 hectares) from the Bloomington area to the Ohio River.

The Hardin Ridge Recreation Area at Lake Monroe is empty and gates to all but one campground area were closed Wednesday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Bloomington office is closed. The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge remains open, but its Seymour visitor’s center and office are closed.

Muscatatuck’s website says that during the shutdown, any entry onto refuge property is “at the visitor’s sole risk.”

The shutdown is also affecting Hoosier farmers. The Farm Service Agency, which hands out subsidies to farmers who are losing money because of President Trump's tariff war with China, will close its doors at the end of business on Friday.

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