Shutdown’s second month expands scope of uncertainty in Clark County

first_imgAs the partial government shutdown drags past its one-month anniversary, the closure’s impacts are spreading beyond furloughed and unpaid federal employees and hitting the general public.In Clark County’s private sector and network of volunteers, the ongoing shutdown is starting to leave a mark.Without institutional support from the U.S. Forest Service, restoration efforts in the Columbia Gorge have stalled. Without approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, local breweries can’t market new beer products across state lines. With food stamp programs facing limbo in March, the region’s food banks are wondering how their resources might handle some strain.And with federal employees facing their second consecutive missed paycheck on Friday — the first time that’s happened in the country’s 38-year history of budget-related shutdowns — the private sector might take a hit in the form of money not spent. When people aren’t sure when their next paycheck will arrive, they’re not taking their families out to dinner.“People are feeling pain, and some businesses are going to lose some revenue that they’re probably never going to get back,” said regional economist Scott Bailey.The ripple effectLong-term projects of “nonessential” federal employees are starting to suffer.The Pacific Crest Trail Association, which organizes volunteer restoration efforts of public lands, had to cancel its scheduled excursion into the Columbia Gorge to help repair the devastation from 2017’s Eagle Creek Fire.last_img read more