On Day Three of the government shutdown, the Obama administration is now closing the ocean to charter boat captains in South Florida.
The White House is turning up the heat, applying one more turn of the thumbscrews and adding one extra crank on the rack while it remains unwilling to negotiate a continuing resolution deal with Republican leadership.
According to the Miami Herald.
Charter guides received a message from the National Park Service this week informing them that they are not permitted to take clients fishing in Florida Bay until the feds get back to work. That means that more than 1,100 square miles of prime fishing is off limits between the southern tip of the mainland to the Keys until further notice.
The closing affects not only fishing guides, but anyone with a license to conduct business in the park, including tour operators and paddling guides — anyone with a Commercial Use Authorization permit, said Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks.
Biscayne National Park is also off limits. Enforcement rangers will be on duty, Kimball said.
Capt. Mike Makowski, owner of Blackfoot Charters in Key Largo, estimates this eliminates 60 percent to 70 percent of his hunting grounds.
The Obama administration wasn’t content with closing open-air exhibits like the World War II and Martin Luther King Jr. memorials, both located in the National Mall.
It then had to go after privately funded exhibits like the 18th century Claude Moore Colonial Farm, simply because it sits on government property. It tried to close Washington’s Mount Vernon, too, until the Park Service was told it sits on private land.
Then the administration thought big — really big, barricading the entire National Mall and even the Grand Canyon. When officials discovered it took more effort to close such enormous properties, they stubbornly added more barricades, yellow tape and security personnel.
When the Republican National Committee offered to pay for security to maintain the World War II Memorial to accommodate a visit months in the making from Honor Flights of WWII veterans, the GOP was accused of “playing politics.”
“We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting,” said a National Park Service ranger who didn’t want to be identified, according to the National Review Online.
Who’s really playing politics here?