MWCD operations continue as usual during federal government shutdown

October 1, 2013

The federal government "shutdown" that began today (Oct. 1, 2013) does not affect the normal operations and availability and operations of the lakes and facilities of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD).

The MWCD is a local level of government and is not funded nor does it fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government, so its operations are not directly affected by the shutdown, said Darrin Lautenschleger, MWCD's public affairs administrator.

All activities and events planned at the MWCD lakes and parks will be held as scheduled. This includes the 31st Annual Atwood Area Fall Festival scheduled this weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at Atwood Lake Park.

"In order to eliminate any confusion for our visitors and guests, we want to assure everyone that the MWCD lakes, lake parks and all facilities are open as usual for this time of year," Lautenschleger said. "Boat launch ramps, public hunting property, camping in the lake parks and campgrounds are all available as they normally would be."

The MWCD does have a working partnership with the federal government through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), which manages and operates the dams at the MWCD lakes for flood reduction. The dams will continue to operate as usual, too, Lautenschleger said.

The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the 16 reservoirs and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving an estimated $10.7 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government, as well as providing popular recreational opportunities that bolster the region’s economy. A significant portion of the reservoirs are managed by the MWCD and the dams are managed for flood-risk management by the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

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