USFS getting timber sales going following shutdown

With the federal government partial shutdown a couple of weeks in the rear view window, operations on the Allegheny National Forest are starting to get back to normal.

Collin Koers, acting deputy district ranger out of the Bradford office, provided an update on operations to the Warren County Council of Governments last week.

“We are back to work,” she said. “We had to close recreation sites (and) suspend timber sales. That was national direction that we received.

“Since we have re-opened our doors, around noon on Oct. 17, (we have) been working diligently to get back open (and) get timber sales back on track,” she added. “(We’re) starting to feel we are getting back in the swing of things.”

But while things are finally starting to normalize, in just 68 days, Koers cautioned, “We could have to go back through all of it again.”

The continuing resolution, a short-term spending bill that funds the government without a budget in place, that Congress passed last month to end the shutdown, which also extended the nation’s debt limit, expires on Jan. 15, 2014.

If Congress fails to come to a budget deal, and does not pass another continuing resolution, the partial government shutdown that lasted 17 days last month could start all over again.

“There is a potential for this to happen again,” said Koers, “but we’re back to work for the time being.”