From crab fishers to office staff, nation rebootsPublished 10:38am Friday, October 18, 2013
The end of the federal shutdown means boats will be back out on the Bering Sea to fish for king crab. Loggers are being allowed back into national forests in Oregon. And barriers keeping nature lovers out of national parks across the country have been removed.
Crews on about 80 boats have been sitting out the multimillion-dollar harvest of red king crab because federal managers who assign fishing quotas were among workers furloughed during the government’s partial shutdown. They’re relieved that they’ll soon be able to start their harvest, bringing back an industry that was one of many private sectors of the economy stalled around the country by the bickering in Washington.
“I’m glad the madness has ended,” said Capt. Keith Colburn, a regular on Discovery Channel’s popular reality show “Deadliest Catch.”
Life started to return to normal as the federal government sprang back to life after the 16-day partial shutdown that came to a close after the House and Senate voted late Wednesday to end it. Even the popular panda cam at the National Zoo was back online, though the zoo itself won’t reopen until Friday. Federal workers who were furloughed or worked without pay during the shutdown will get back pay in their next paychecks, which for most employees come Oct. 29.
National parks removed barriers and welcomed visitors who had previously been turned away. The Twitter feed of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state posted a picture of the 14,411-foot mountain backed by blue skies, with the message “What a beautiful morning to welcome us back to Mount Rainier! Park gates are now open.”