As hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers wonder when the current budget battle will end, many are left with a sense of déjà-vu. The US Government shut down for 26 days over two phases in 1995 and 1996, and many of the roughly 800,000 furloughed workers were Montana residents.
According to archive Associated Press coverage, during the shutdown, the Bureau of Land Management furloughed roughly 500 workers. The IRS furloughed roughly 170 workers, and the Environmental Protection Agency sent 15 workers home.
Local O.S.H.A. facilities only had enough manpower to deal with investigations into cases of strong danger and fatalities. In December, Yellowstone National Park had roughly 60 employees working the park, compared to the usual 400. The closure at Yellowstone eventually prompted a protest of roughly 100 attendees.
The US Forest Service furloughed nearly 2,000 workers in Montana.
It is not known how many Montanans are furloughed as part of the current shut down, though it’s estimated that most of the 12,000 Montana federal workers are part of the group deemed “inessential.”