Government shutdown: Wisconsin governor Walker refuses to close public parks

Government Shutdown: Wisconsin Governor Walker Refuses To Close Federal Parks

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is defying orders from the National Park Service to close federally funded parks in the wake of the government shutdown.

The Hill is reporting the Republican governor has instructed the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to keep open parks which receive the majority of their money from the government.

The decision was prompted after the Fish and Wildlife service placed barricades in a Mississippi River boat launch which sits on federal land.

However, the barricades were removed on grounds of an old agreement between the state and the federal government, according to state officials.

Cathy Stepp secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, told agency employees in an email obtained by Fox News:

We respect the magnitude of the process the federal government has had to undertake to close its properties and certain activities on properties they own and manage.

However, after close review and legal consult, [the Department of Natural Resources] has clarified areas where the federal procedures are over-reaching by ordering the closure of properties where the state has management authority through existing agreements.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is an agency within the Department of Interior and is charged with enforcing Federal Wildlife laws, in this case follow the directives stipulated due to the partial government shutdown.

Officials said Wisconsin will not fully follow the Fish and Wildlife Service regulation to prohibit fishing and hunting on federal lands while the shutdown remains in place.

Governor Walker, who might have Presidential aspirations on the 2016 elections recently commented on the government shutdown saying:

“Blame can go around for everybody,” Walker, a GOP leader contemplating a presidential bid, said recently when asked about the shutdown. “The best way to resolve it? Just look at what we did in Wisconsin. We had a $3.6 billion budget deficit. We now have more than half a billion surplus.”

Some are asking the feds to allow state and private funding to keep public parks open in their states. In Wisconsin, governor Walker is taking matters into his own hands and despite the government shutdown, he is finding a way not to disrupt citizen’s right to visit state parks.