GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: Turkey Fork Recreation Area closure part of federal fallout

A closed sign on the gates at Turkey Fork Recreation Area welcomes visitors during the current government shutdown.
Photo by Annette Harvison

From Staff Reports

While many Greene Countians may not notice the impact of the U.S. government shutdown in their everyday lives, users of federal lands, such as Turkey Fork Recreation Area near Sand Hill are.

Turkey Fork has been closed down since the shutdown began, with no public access to hiking trails, camping areas or boat launch. Although many other national parks around the country have remained partially open, they are operating with staff that is deemed essential.

Turkey Fork falls under the National Forest Service and has fallen victim to the loss of operational funding while legislative representatives disagree about financially supporting President Trump’s southern border wall.

Many people looking to do a little holiday fishing recently have been forced to turn around at the gates at the recreation area’s entrance. Owners of The Store at Turkey Fork said several disgruntled fishermen made wasted trips up the small country road leading to the lake only to find a locked gate with a sign reading ‘Closed.’

“I told a few guys that stopped by here that the lake was closed,” said store owner John Norris. “They would drive there anyways and come out spinning their wheels.”

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