Dear Senator Gardner: Support Colorado business by re-opening the government

Dear Senator Gardner —

I own a Boulder-based guided backpacking company, the lifeblood of which are commercial permits on public lands. Without them, I cannot legally operate in lands managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management.

Due to the current shutdown, my permits to run trips in 2019 in places like Rocky Mountain National Park, Yosemite National Park, Gates of the Arctic National Park, and Monongahela National Forest are not being reviewed (or approved), like they normally would be at this time of year.

If I do not obtain these permits soon and am unable to run trips, my family will suffer financially, reducing our income by about 50 percent. You can expect a proportional decrease in amounts collected from me by the Colorado Department of Revenue in 2019.

Business owners in gateway towns like Estes Park and Grand Lake will also suffer, losing tens of thousands of dollars in revenue that my clients would have spent on lodging, transportation, and food. There will also be a lot of disappointed clients — for many, my trips are one of the highlights of their year.

I know that legislating is a complicated task, and that you are one of one-hundred US senators. But I would ask you to strongly support efforts to re-open our government — specifically the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture — to eliminate this risk to my livelihood. This shutdown is no longer political brinkmanship — it will soon have very real consequences for me, like it’s already having for the hundreds of thousands of furloughed government employees.

I’m aware that you are up for re-election in 2020. You can be assured that your actions during this shutdown will affect my vote, contributions, and activism during that campaign.



Andrew Skurka (and my wife Amanda)

Posted in on January 4, 2019


  1. Mike Stone on January 5, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Please contact Senator Bennett as well

    • MH on January 12, 2019 at 11:26 am

      Senator Bennett isn’t blocking even having a vote on a bill to open the government.

  2. Ronald Brouhard on January 9, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    First things first. Actually, the wrong people are off work & not getting their checks: the 535 people, (Most of whom live behind walls), are the ones whose office doors should be locked & their paychecks put on hold. Maybe then they’d DO their job.
    If you really think we should keep the Gov’t open & never protect our borders, maybe you’d be OK with having a few aliens with you, maybe a rapist, or MS-13 rats, etc, eh? Talk to land owners that live near the border & see how their attitude is; they actually FACE these hordes a lot.
    I am still a fan of back packing & have been an avid one since the ’70s. But I’ve also seen this movement toward a “Borderless World.” If you don’t think that’s a code word for Global Communism, you need to do some honest research.

    • The majority on January 9, 2019 at 4:12 pm

      Watch Fox News much?

    • an american on the right side of history on January 13, 2019 at 10:27 pm

      ok I live near the border in san diego and have seen no “hordes” or ms 13 rats. we welcome immigrants here because somewhere down your lineage you have a family member who is one. you asked mr. skurka to do some research on this topic. i would recommend you google fear mongering and it might save us all some time. no one gives a sh*t about cherrypicked stories of immigrants committing crimes if they can’t feed their families. nevertheless, the crime rate among immigrants is actually lower than that of us born citizens.

    • AZDesertHiker on February 21, 2019 at 6:48 am

      First things first…

      Now. As an Arizona local I can assure you I am currently being held at ransom by members of an MS-13 cell, while currently typing out a Twitter response in support of a rallying cause for a marxist takeover of the federal government. Also, my internet is about to be shut off, because all those aliens invaded my workforce and took my high paying office job. They just snatched it right out from under me. Because I’d be doing landscaping or kitchen work otherwise since all of us want those jobs so bad (please let me work!).

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