Government Prioritizes Hunting Over Parks and People During Shutdown

The effects of Trump’s government shutdown several weeks in are being felt all over the country. Government workers either furloughed or working without pay are experiencing permanent financial damage to their credit and household finances.

Meanwhile, the public is hurting as  federal services are functioning at low capacity or ceasing altogether. This includes national parks and wildlife refuges, in which garbage bins and restrooms are overflowing with commercial and human waste, and monitoring in case of emergencies has stopped.

Yet the agency has recalled a limited number of furloughed staff using some emergency funding it had on hand, to attend to “high-priority projects,” according to Margaret Everson, USFWS principal deputy director.

Some of those “high-priority projects”? Opening 38 wildlife refuges for major hunting events.

Even for hunting enthusiasts, this is a major concern. Trump has refused calls to close parks and refuges for the duration of the shutdown, because of the risk to the public in entering unstaffed areas, but also because of the environmental risk of overflowing garbage and potential poaching. These unstaffed areas remain open, despite the risk, and the limited staff available are being used to keep hunters happy rather than protect these lands for future generations, which is also important for hunters in the long term.

It’s not difficult to imagine the thought process here, and it has nothing to do with an objective, non-partisan ranking of staffing priorities. Trump, despite previously stating he would take full ownership for the shutdown, has repeatedly let slip that he is hoping the shutdown hurts his political opponents, including simply those who did not vote for him. He probably thinks of the hunters as his people, and anyone who cares about protecting the parks or cleaning up garbage as a whiny liberal.

This is way off base, of course. Not everything is partisan, and there are both liberal and conservative hunters.

Why is the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, an agency with broad and deep responsibilities, getting pulled into these political games? It’s hard to imagine the hardworking members of this critical government organization being at all happy about seeing the natural places they’ve dedicated their lives to protecting being put at risk of significant permanent damage thanks to one unhinged president and agency leaders that are either unable or unwilling to stand up to him and put their mission first.

Take Action!

Urge U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials to close these refuges and cancel the hunts by signing this Care2 petition.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.


Photo credit: Getty Images


berny p
berny p2 months ago

So sad that these people have nothing else in their livest than killing wild live!
Shame on them!

Natasha Gordon
Natasha Gordon2 months ago

It's so nice to see that Mitch McConnell and our president have their priorities in order. Their actions and treatment of the American people is unacceptable. Whay do we continue to tolerate this kind of nonsense?

Ingrid A
Past Member 2 months ago

Thank you

Helene L
Helene L3 months ago

Of course, hunters and trophy hunters are the base of an incompetent, uncaring and idiotic child-like president. As long as the butchering continue, mindless, identity searching imbeciles will be more than happy to support a coward government that let this head-sick bastard do whatever he wants at the cost of the US people.

Michael Friedmann
Michael F3 months ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

Roxana Saez
Roxana Saez3 months ago


Marty P
Marty P3 months ago

David F Sure seems to know a lot about insanity.

Roberta G
Roberta G3 months ago

Peggy B...THANK YOU for the link to an extremely interesting article!

I enjoyed this quote from the article: "Donald Trump lied to his Republican base and thought they were so stupid they would believe it, according to Jared Kushner.
Mr Kushner, a property developer who is both President Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, reportedly made the remarks after he was challenged about Mr Trump’s prolonged interrogation over whether Barack Obama was born in the US."

David F and others of his ilk who post on Care 2 really illustrate that stupidity, as does much of the trumpian base as well as many Republican legislators.

Susanne R
Susanne R3 months ago

David F. - You stated that the "fringe liberals" are insane, but then you claim to have "just built the wall." Well, it is a long weekend, but I don't think it's the type of community service Martin Luther King, Jr. had in mind...

Ruth S
Ruth S3 months ago