As a state government shutdown looms, the talk throughout the corners of Minnesota has focused on what exactly this means. Because we don’t know yet which state services will be deemed essential or non-essential it isn’t clear just how the shutdown will affect the average Minnesota citizen. Specific examples are practically impossible to find. I’ve looked at a number of state agency websites and the shutdown isn’t even mentioned.
Potential state park closings seem to be a top concern, and if that comes to fruition it promises to impact many Minnesotans and out of state visitors, in part because it would be during one of the busiest times of the year — the 4th of July weekend. Weddings, reunions, birthday parties, family camping and simple picnics will have to be cancelled, moved or rescheduled. Can you imagine finding an alternative venue for your wedding at the last minute? Some friends of mine are planning to marry at our local state park later in July. Hopefully, the budget impasse will be resolved by then. But what if it isn’t? Minnesotans love their state parks and many are up in arms about the possible closings.
Even though I’ve been employed by the state of Minnesota and believe that I’m pretty aware of state services, I can’t even fathom all that our state provides. I have always been proud, thankful and supportive of Minnesota’s services and resources, especially our natural resources and realize that we would have nothing without state management of them.
If and when the state shuts down what natural resource service will you miss most of all?
Kristin Eggerling is a board member for Conservation Minnesota Voter Center, the mother of two, and a freelance writer in northwestern Minnesota.