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Federal Shutdown Halts Some Environmental Conservation Efforts, Slows Others

An American Robin is measured as part of federal research on urban wildlife in a backyard in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Photo by Nancy Eve Cohen for NEPR

An American Robin is measured as part of federal research on urban wildlife in a backyard in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Photo by Nancy Eve Cohen for NEPR

Federal researchers in western Massachusetts study ways to protect migrating fish, backyard birds and urban trees. The government shutdown is keeping them home and away from their research.

The researchers work for agencies like the USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Curt Griffin heads the UMass Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation, where some of the scientists are based.

“It’s a very, very unfortunate event that our federal colleagues are caught up in this mess,” Griffin said. “And it’s not fair to them. It’s not fair to the public that they provide important services to. So it’s just a very broken system, and they’re caught in the middle.”

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