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Wisconsin won't close down some federal parklands

Wisconsin DNR logo (properly sized)
Wisconsin DNR logo (properly sized)

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)   Wisconsin officials are refusing to follow a federal order to close popular state park areas which get part of their funding from Washington. As part of the federal government shutdown, the National Park Service told the state D-N-R to close Devil's Lake and Interstate state parks -- the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine State forest -- and the state's portion of the Horicon Marsh. The state rejected the order, since most of the funding for those facilities comes from state dollars, not federal.

The D-N-R then issued a statement yesterday afternoon declaring all state parks, trails, and recreational facilities open. Also, the D-N-R re-opened a boat launching area at Wyalusing State Park near Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi River. The U-S Fish-and-Wildlife Service closed the launch Tuesday, since it's located on federal property. But state officials said they had the authority to operate the launch under a joint state-and-federal agreement signed 53 years ago.

The D-N-R said the federal government provided $700,000 for state park facilities in the last fiscal year. The funding was cut off Tuesday, as a congressional disagreement over Obama-care triggered the partial federal shutdown.