Federal offices at UM close, workers on furlough

2013-10-01T10:15:00Z 2013-10-03T00:15:10Z Federal offices at UM close, workers on furloughBy MARTIN KIDSTON Missoulian The Billings Gazette
October 01, 2013 10:15 am  • 

MISSOULA — Two federal agencies housed at the University of Montana were either closed or in the process of shutting down early Tuesday, following a failure by Congress to resolve its differences last night and approve a federal budget.

Phones at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute went unanswered, while the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center was closing.

Together, the two centers employ around 16 workers from several federal agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

Elaine Poser with the Arthur Carhart center said her office at UM was in the process of shutting down and would be closed by noon today.

She and eight other employees at the center will be out of a job and go unpaid for as long as the federal shutdown goes on.

“I have my obligations the same as anyone,” Poser said early Tuesday. “If it goes on for weeks, there are things in my life that will be jeopardized.”

Poser remembered the last federal shutdown in the 1990s and called it a stressful time. She said she was displeased with Congress and its failure to negotiate a deal.

“We all can file for unemployment, I guess,” she said.

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