HORICON - The federal government shutdown is affecting a popular fall tourist destination. The Horicon Marsh hosts one of the largest concentrations of migrating Canada Geese in the state.
The geese may not yet be aware, but the government shutdown has shut down most of the park.
They arrive by the hundreds. Canada Geese, ducks and other migrating birds. Congregating in the Horicon Marsh before continuing their journey farther south. And they're followed by the people who enjoy their show.
"We always say that people flock just like the birds at Horicon Marsh, so as soon as the birds start migrating, so do the people,” said Liz Herzmann, DNR wildlife educator.
But much of the more than 30,000 acre park has been closed to the public since Tuesday thanks to the federal government shutdown.
Herzmann says visitors shouldn't be concerned because getting a bird's-eye view of the migrating geese won't be a problem though because more the 11,000 acres of the state portion of the park is still open for hikers.
"11,000 acres is still a huge expanse and no person is going to be able to get through that in a day or even a weekend,” said Herzmann.
Still some visitors were disappointed to learn politics followed them right to the trails of the marsh.
"I would say it is disappointing, we would like complete access to the marsh, but if that's not going to happen today we are bummed,” said Dana Kartos of Monona.
"It's too bad because you don't think of that type of thing happening,” said Carmen Bauer of Middleton.
Marc Zuelsdorf owns the Blue Heron Landing in Horicon which gives boat tours of the marsh. He says he hasn't seen the shutdown impact his business yet. And he says the weather is as big a concern as the government shutdown.
"It's gonna all depend on the weather, I don't think if it is going to drag on people are still going to get out and do the things they want to do this time of year because when the weather starts to change it's over,” said Zuelsdorf.
While the birds might indicate when the weather will change, what will happen in Washington is anyone's guess.
Click here if you'd like to find out more about the programs happening at the marsh, including events this weekend.
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