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updated: 10/7/2013 7:35 AM

Government shutdown closes Illinois wildlife areas

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Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The partial shutdown of the federal government has made more than 128,000 acres of wildlife refuges and other lands off limits in Illinois.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Saturday that it has closed lands and facilities nationwide.

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In Illinois, the agency has shut eight national wildlife refuges, as well as offices and facilities located throughout the state.

It has canceled all recreational activities at those locations, including hunting, fishing, environmental education and public events.

Throughout its eight-state Midwest region, the agency has put more than 800 employees on unpaid furlough and closed more than 1.2 million acres of federal public land.

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