Disability or pension payments for nearly 67,000 Minnesota veterans might not be sent out in November if the government shutdown doesn’t come to a quick end. And nearly 10,000 Minnesotans taking advantage of GI Bill education benefits to go to college will likely be affected as well. Veterans organizations are calling on Congress to pass full fiscal-year funding for all veterans programs, saying that short-term continuing resolutions or other stopgap measures are unacceptable solutions.
Minnesota pheasant hunters will find less land available when the season opens on Saturday. Due to the federal government shutdown, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has closed 13 national wildlife refuges and eight wetland management districts in Minnesota, totaling more than 489,000 acres of land. The situation is similar in neighboring South Dakota, another favorite destination of Minnesota hunters. State and other non-federal public lands normally open to pheasant hunting remain open. More than 80,000 people are expected to hunt pheasants statewide this year. Minnesota’s pheasant population is down about 29% from 2012 due to a long winter followed by a cold, wet spring. But Minnesota hunters still are expected to harvest around 246,000 roosters this fall.