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Shutdown Causes Cancellations At Upcoming Midwest Wildlife Conference

A Blue Heron at Cuyahoga Valley National Park [Zack Frank / Shutterstock]
A Blue Heron at Cuyahoga Valley National Park [Zack Frank / Shutterstock]

The Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference is set to begin this Sunday in Cleveland, but the federal government shutdown is affecting attendance.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife is hosting the conference. They estimate about 10 percent of the 800 registered scientists, biologists, and students won’t be able to attend due to the government shutdown.

And with the role federal agencies play in conservation efforts in the region, several panels and symposiums won’t have presenters. According to the conference website, 48 events are marked cancelled. They include programs on river restoration, walleye migration, and tracking birds.

University of Toledo professor Dr. Christine Mayer is one of those affected. She’s working on projects related to grass carp, funded by the US Geological Survey, but one of her collaborators who works for the agency can’t access his email due to the shutdown.

“There are pieces of analysis that he was planning to carry out and we just can’t communicate with him,” said Mayer.

With her presentation cancelled, Mayer has decided not to attend the conference in order to save federal grant funds.

The conference runs through Wednesday.