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Environmentalists to foot bill for crane event amid shutdown

January 5, 2019

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — An environmental group says it will help fund an event celebrating whooping cranes at a federal refuge in Alabama during the partial government shutdown.

The annual Festival of the Cranes brings hundreds of people to the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge near Decatur, but the facility is closed because of the funding impasse in Washington. Thousands of Sandhill cranes and about a dozen whopping cranes are there, nonetheless.

The Decatur Daily reports Friends of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge has agreed to cover electricity costs for two refuge buildings next weekend if the shutdown continues.

Volunteers and members of the Friends group will staff the visitors’ center. Refuge workers can be on hand, but not in uniform.

Festival activities include nature walks, photography workshops, children’s activities, art exhibits, concerts and other events.

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Information from: The Decatur Daily, http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/index.shtml

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