GOP Senators Rip Interior for Closing Public Lands

Tuesday, 08 Oct 2013 05:05 PM

By Dan Weil

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The Interior Department is unnecessarily closing public lands and roads in the West during the government shutdown, Republican members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said Tuesday.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., accused the White House of trying to cause harm to fellow Americans, The Hill reports.

Interior has shuttered highway viewing sites for Grand Teton National Park, even though they don’t include trash cans or restrooms that would require human maintenance. So, the move hasn't saved any money, Barrasso said.

"The Obama administration has made a concerted effort to intentionally hurt the public," he said. "Maybe the [National] Park Service could study how to drop a large curtain in front of the mountains to block the view from the road."

Meanwhile, Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service is keeping away hunters in Alaska at just the wrong time, said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ala., The Hill reports.

"This is moose season. This is hunting season. This is when Alaskans are filling up their freezer for a long winter," she said. "In so many of our communities there is no Costco; there is no Safeway; there is no grocery store. Our hunting areas are the grocery store."

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