Shutdown Interferes with Search and Rescue

Volunteers wanted for missing hiker

Craters of the Moon National Mo

Craters of the Moon National Monument     Photo: Mav/Wikimedia

The search for a missing hiker in Idaho's Craters of the Moon National Monument was scaled back Tuesday due to the government shutdown. As of Tuesday morning, no park employees were searching for the hiker, CBS News reports.

Only three staff members out of 16 total employees remain at the park, monitoring infrastructure. The three say they plan to resume the search. Because federal workers deemed "non-essential" are not allowed to volunteer at their jobs during a shutdown, more support will not be forthcoming. Without government support, family members of the missing hiker have called on experienced volunteers to help with the search.

"Either way, we are committed to bringing her home and are actively recruiting volunteers with backcountry experience to keep the search going. But we will not chance injury or loss of searchers," the family said in a prepared statement. "In that vein, at a minimum, those interested in participating should be able to hike 10 to 12 miles and climb 1,000 feet at a time in treacherous terrain."

Officials have been looking for the hiker for about a week. Her hiking parnter was found dead last Wednesday.

Update: Park officials received permission Wednesday to deem ten workers as essential, allowing them to continue the search.

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