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When outdoor recreation is the only game in town, a shutdown's hurt is obvious

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While salmon fishing in upstate New York this weekend, I got a good look at how important a big natural resource draw can be to a rural area's business community.

Especially one that attracts people from far and wide to an area that really doesn't have a lot of other industry to speak of. Not far from our camp is a parking area for a popular pool with anglers, and the license-plate lineup was a pretty comprehensive listing of Northeast states.

Businesses run on the salmon run. If it weren't there, I doubt a majority of storefronts would be in business or making ends meet with their operations.

Or if access to the resource were cut off. Which brings me to my point. As the partial government shutdown has lingered on this month, policymakers should think about the effect it has on the business communities surrounding national parks.

The closure is hurting far more people than those who can't look at scenery on vacation.

These places are often, by definition, lucrative resources in the middle of nowhere. Take away access to the resource, and you take away business.

Potentially all of it, making this more than just a down month for many businesses. It could be life or death for these often-family-owned operations.

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey covers York County, agribusiness, energy and environment, and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at brentb@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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