Forest Service employees in Steamboat, Yampa face furloughs if government shuts down | SteamboatToday.com

Forest Service employees in Steamboat, Yampa face furloughs if government shuts down

Marci Kinzie, of the U.S. Forest Service, answers questions for Luke Tellier in the Steamboat Springs office on Weiss Drive in 2013.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Barring a last minute deal to continue funding the federal government past Friday night, several U.S. Forest Service employees in Steamboat Springs will likely come to work very briefly Monday morning to sign paperwork and update their out of office voicemails before being furloughed for an unknown amount of time.

Forest Service Spokesman Aaron Voos said employees in the region were watching the news just like everybody else this week, and plans were in place to enact the furloughs on Monday in the event the federal government shuts down.

He said the plan will likely be similar to what government employees in this area did back in 2013 when the government shut down for 16 days.

"The majority of Forest Service employees would be furloughed, but there would be a few essential personnel that would remain working," he said.

Voos stressed the national forest would remain open for winter recreation, but the Forest Service would have to stop its work on projects, research and other tasks, such as working to hire seasonal employees.

"Everyone will be impacted a little bit differently, but the biggest impact for us would be from losing a week's worth of work or however long a shutdown goes on," he said.

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Voos said there are approximately 40 workers in the Steamboat and Yampa Forest Service offices.

The offices would technically be closed in the event of a government shutdown, Voos said, but residents and visitors in Steamboat could still go to the office to talk to Colorado Parks and Wildlife employees, who share an office with the Forest Service.

Bureau of Land Management employees might also be impacted by a government shutdown.

During the last shutdown, employees there were furloughed as well, with the exception of some law enforcement officers and essential personnel.

Mail delivery would continue in the event of a government shutdown, and the post offices would remain open because the U.S. Postal service has its own revenue stream, NPR reported Friday.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.