COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Over 3,000 civilian military workers are back on the job in Colorado.
The Gazette reports that at least 2,650 workers at Fort Carson, the Air Force Academy, the North American Aerospace Defense Command and Northern Command received orders to return to work starting Monday. In addition, 130 civilian workers at the Pueblo Chemical Depot and most of the 650 workers furloughed at the Colorado National Guard have also been called back.
Congress passed a bill hours before the government shutdown to exempt civilian military workers but many were furloughed anyway.
On Sunday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said government lawyers have advised that the law didn't permit all workers to be called back to work but said more personnel can be exempted as essential.
Meanwhile, a group representing the nation's ski industry said Monday it expects no major impact on this year's ski season because of federal furloughs, even though about a third of the more than 360 top resorts are located on federal land.
Michael Berry, spokesman for the National Ski Areas Association, said most expansion projects and construction that require federal approval have been completed as opening days approach, but he said any future delays could have an impact on the $6 billion a year industry.
Berry said Monday he talked with Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell to clarify how the shutdown would affect the 121 ski areas operating on federal land and was assured resort leases are not immediately affected.
Forest Service officials said any construction issues would be reviewed individually.