National parks open again after shutdown - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

National parks open again after shutdown

OAK HARBOR, OH (Toledo News Now) -

It'sbeen weeks since anyone could visit a national park, including the OttawaNational Wildlife Refuge. Now the government is running again and employees canreturn to their trails.

"Wethought, ‘Well, maybe they will get it figured out by Thursday or Friday at thelatest,' and we'd by back to work and be back to supporting the communities,"said Jason Lewis, manager of the wildlife refuge.

All15 employees at the refuge were furloughed. They say they couldn't have comeback to work at a better time.

"Thephones have been ringing off the hook with inquiries," said Justin Woldt,manager of the visitor center.

Waterfowlmigration just began, and that means big crowds at the park and lots of work tocatch up on.

"[We'llget] 20-30 hunters a day out on the refuge, waterfowl hunting," Lewis said. "Nowthey're able to come back and participate in our waterfowl hunt."

Archeryand deer hunting programs were canceled because of the shutdown, along withguided tours.

"Wedo a variety of public programming – guided hikes and guided bus tours," Woldtsaid. "Those were all canceled."

Butthe auto tour is back on Sunday. Guests can hop in their cars and explore theacres of the park normally off limits to the public.

Mobile users, click on the"Video" button in the app to watch this story. Download our app here.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly