Trump’s Shutdown Threatens Public Lands, Wildlife and Human Health

By
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

US/Mexico border wall. Photo by Jamie Scepkowski.

The government shutdown continues over Trump’s “ecological disaster” border wall.

For our federal public lands, the shutdown stinks. The Feds are the largest landowner in the county—by far—with about 640 million acres, including over five million acres in Northwest California. While these lands largely remain open, there are reports at parks across the country of overflowing human waste and trash. Without caretakers, people are already wreaking havoc. In Joshua Tree National Park, vandals have hacked apart the iconic trees.

Our wildlife is suffering. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service employees aren’t looking for poachers, funding habitat restoration, or continuing science.

Our health is at risk. EPA pollution inspectors are not on the job. FDA food inspectors are going without pay and many routine food inspections are not occurring.

While most government workers are stuck at home, guess who Trump is keeping on the job?

Two weeks ago, the Department of the Interior recalled employees to continue processing coal, oil, and gas permits, already accepting over 125 lease applications and 100 nominations for public lands to be drilled.

More locally, on the Seiad-Horse Project, loggers continue to fall trees without the fisheries biologists, hydrologists, or wildlife biologists on staff to ensure compliance.

Resources for Furloughed Workers

EPIC loves our public servants and work with them on a daily basis. Below are some resources we’ve collected, in case you need a hand while you are furloughed:

Government assistance programs are available for you, so please use them! Apply for CalFresh online (it takes less than 10 minutes).

Coast Central Credit Union is offering interest-free loans for federal employees affected by the shutdown.

Relax and keep in shape! Pali Yoga is offering free passes to furloughed workers.

The Eureka Theater is offering free tickets to federal employees. (Check out The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension on Friday, Jan. 25.)

The Central Labor Council and Cooperation Humboldt are giving away gift cards to the Coop! Gift cards can be obtained by contacting Cooperation Humboldt at 707-362-0333 or email cooperationhumboldt@gmail.com.

Food for People is available for everyone who is in need of sustenance. Click here to find out more!