Park service, ag agencies impacted by possible shutdown

If Congress doesn't pass at least a short-term spending package by, non-essential government services will halt.

Among those that would be affected is the National Park Service, which would close all of its more than 350 sites around the country.

The Scotts Bluff National Monument will be closing the Visitor Center, all hiking trails, and the Summit Road if a budget agreement isn't reached, with only a skeleton staff to cover security and key maintenance issues.

Law Enforcement Ranger and Acting Superintendent of Agate Fossil Beds National Monument A-J LeGault says the closure would affect all of the facilities at Agate, including the visitor center and the trails.

In fact, LeGault will be the only Agate fossil staffer working during a budget closure.

A number of agricultural agencies will be impacted. Nebraska Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Dan Steinkruger says his agency will shutdown barring a Congressional budget agreement

Steinkruger says the agency has an implementation plan for a shutdown and FSA is taking preliminary steps today to implement the plan, in case it is needed tomorrow.

A government shutdown will result in the closure of 71 Farm Service Agency offices in Nebraska and about 400 FSA employees will be furloughed.

The US Department of Agriculture will also close Natural Resource Conservation Service and Rural Development offices. A shutdown would also halt funding for the Foreign Agricultural Service's Foreign Market Development Program, Market Access Program, Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program would stop.

A government shutdown would allow USDA Food Safety inspectors to remain on the job.

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