Shutdown Resources

What a Federal Government Shutdown Means for PLA Members

Updated: January 23, 2019


The partial government shutdown which began December 22, 2018 has had devastating impacts on nonprofit partners of public lands. The House of Representatives has begun movement to approve legislation that would fully open the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service. The Public Lands Alliance calls on the Senate to begin action as well so that public lands will be open again for visitors.

Read Jan 4, 2019 PLA Press Release

Read Jan 10, 2019 PLA Press Release


In a recent survey, several nonprofit partners of these public lands reported how this shutdown is impacting them. This page will be updated as we receive more information from our members and stakeholders. Due to the shutdown:

  • $4.1 million lost in retail sales and visitor programs. This amount will continue to rise as the shutdown continues. These funds would have supported their nonprofit missions and enhanced public lands.

  • 530+ nonprofit employees laid off, furloughed or compelled to take leave without pay. Congress is not considering legislation to provide back pay to these private sector workers.

Meanwhile, these nonprofits have also stepped up to support their public lands in this challenging time. 

  • 65% have provided visitor information online and onsite

  • 24% have coordinated volunteer clean-ups and cleaned restrooms

  • Over $300,000 has been given in direct donations to land management agencies.


Shutdown Impacts on Nonprofits

  No access to offices on public lands to write checks, receive shipments or do inventory. Many nonprofits are not allowed to access information essential to performing basic functions.

  Planning and hiring are on-hold. This is a critical time for many nonprofits to meet with their agency partners to hire seasonal staff and coordinate 2019 projects. 

  Hurricane recovery efforts halted. Nonprofits in the Southeast are faced with a one-two punch as recent hurricanes already damaged public lands and facilities. The shutdown has cost funding that is needed for those recovery efforts.

  Loss of valuable staff. The shutdown poses a risk to the stability of the nonprofit workforce, which relies on public lands to be open for nonprofit employees to staff visitor centers.

  Youth programs canceled. Students hoping to take part in outdoor activities on public lands this winter are not able to attend canceled programs and events.

  Fundraising projects on-hold as nonprofits are unable to work with agency partners to discuss project goals.


Press Releases by PLA Members


PLA Members in the News