BOISE -- The partial shutdown of the federal government will have a direct effect on some services in Idaho, with campgrounds on federal lands closing, 850 Idaho National Guard employees furloughed and a program that helps cover food costs for impoverished pregnant women and small children threatened.
U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson said about half her staff has been furloughed and attorneys are expecting to file motions to temporarily halt court proceedings in civil cases.
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesman Tom Shanahan says roughly 42,500 pregnant women, infants and children who receive food benefits under the WIC program may lose benefits next week if the shutdown continues.
Col. Tim Marsano says about half of the Idaho National Guard employees are banned from duty until the shutdown is lifted.
The U.S. Forest Service is operating with minimal staff to ensure certain essential services. All facilities, including forest service offices and developed recreational areas such as campgrounds and picnic areas are closed. General areas of the national forests where you may drive, hike, hunt and fish remain accessible. Forest service law enforcement are still on duty.
Other services and agencies closed:
Mountain Home Air Force Base Commissary
Federal Communications Commission
NOAA (Weather Service)
Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
Military Academies (including all athletics)
Bureau of Land Management
Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Visitor centers, campgrounds, boat launches and day-use facilities will be unsupported or closed at all Corps locks and dams
The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreations says the City of Rocks National Reserve is federally designated National Park Unit but is managed cooperatively with the state of Idaho. Federal areas will be closed, but all state-owned property within the reserve will remain open.
Hunters looking forward to the opening of waterfowl season in Eastern Oregon this weekend will not be able to hunt on national wildlife refuges. They are closed to all visitors, whether hunters, bird-watchers or hikers.
The Internal Revenue Service says you must pay your taxes during the government shutdown. But don't expect any refunds. The IRS said Tuesday it will gladly accept tax returns and payments during the shutdown. In fact, they are required by law.
The most essential government services will continue business as usual: mail delivery, air traffic control, the TSA, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits and food stamps.