WASHINGTON, D.C. - Due to the federal government shutdown, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities and lands are now closed to the public and public use activities have been suspended nationwide.

This includes all National Wildlife Refuges, Waterfowl Production Areas, National Fish Hatcheries, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Offices and Ecological Services Offices.

In Minnesota, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed 13 national wildlife refuges, eight wetland management districts, one ecological services office and the Midwest Regional Office totaling more than 489,000 acres of land.

Wildlife-related recreational activities on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands, such as hunting, fishing, environmental education or other public events scheduled at any of these facilities are cancelled.

The agency is asking the public to delay their plans to visit any of these locations.

In the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which covers the states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, more than 800 employees have been placed in unpaid furlough status.

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