COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - If the government shuts down, an immediate effect will be felt right here in Southwest Florida. The national parks in our own back yard will close. The park gates will be locked and the people who work there will be gone.
Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park will be forced to stop their guided tours immediately if the government shuts down.
Twenty two employees at U.S. Fish and Wildlife in Collier County are getting ready to vacate their office too, but not because they want to.
"Everybody's worried, because it is a worry when you don't know when your next paycheck's going to come," Kevin Godsea with the agency tells us.
If there's a government shutdown Godsea and his employees will immediately have to close trails and facilities at the Ten Thousand Island and Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuges.
"If wildfires start we'll have to bring the on-call firefighters on."
Which could affect response times and put added stress on state and local agencies if they need to assist.
As far as wildlife, it can take care of itself, but it may be a while before visitors will get to see it.