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Likely U.S. government shutdown could affect permits for ornithologists

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The next U.S. federal fiscal year starts on Oct. 1 but Congress has been unable to pass federal appropriations bills for the coming year, meaning the federal government will be forced to shut down due to a lapse in appropriations.

While some federal employees will be exempt from the shutdown, most federal offices will be closed during the shutdown. This could effect the ability of the federal government to process and issue permit applications for banding, collecting, importing and exporting, among others. It could also affect the ability of researchers to access federal lands, such as national parks and wildlife refuges.

During the 2019 shutdown, the Department of the Interior kept some parks and refuges open, although with limited staff, through alternative funding from user fees. The Government Accountability Office later found this to be illegal, as it related to National Parks. 

The OC will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates here on the Ornithology Exchange. Questions or experiences to share? Contact us!

UPDATE: A continuing resolution has been passed to continue funding the federal government through November 17. To set funding levels for each fiscal year, Congress must pass 12 appropriations bills (which are sometimes lumped in one or more omnibus bills). The House has passed 4 bills for FY23-24; the Senate has not yet passed any. 

Interested in learning more about the effects of a shutdown on science?

How a US government shutdown could disrupt science (from nature)

Government Shutdowns Are ‘Science Shutdowns’ (from the Federation of American Scientists)


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  • Laura Bies changed the title to Likely U.S. government shutdown could affect permits for ornithologists

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