State won't appeal after lawsuit over refuge closures dismissed by federal judge

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JUNEAU, Alaska — The state will not appeal the dismissal of its lawsuit over the closure of national wildlife refuges during last year's partial federal government shutdown.

Department of Law spokeswoman Cori Mills says the state hopes the situation won't happen again. She says the state will continue to monitor the situation.

In July, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason sided with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Interior, declaring the case moot. The refuges reopened after Congress passed legislation to end the 16-day shutdown last October.

The state persisted in the lawsuit with the Alaska Professional Hunters Association, arguing in part that another shutdown could be reasonably expected. Gleason said that didn't make it reasonable to expect the agencies' response to a future shutdown would be the same.

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