Since there's the possibility of another government shutdown occurring this month and because of my love of boondocking on BLM land I decided to stop and talk to the host at the Plomosa Road boondocking area and see what he had to say about what happens during a government shutdown.
The host told me that on the morning the last shutdown went into effect the Ranger came by and said "take down your host sign and don't check people in until further notice". The host asked, "what about the people that want to camp here"? And the Ranger replied, "anyone can come and go as they please and stay as long as they want we just can't provide any services for them".
As an aside note the Ranger also said that he was driving his personal vehicle to give this information to all of the hosts because he wasn't allowed to drive a government vehicle during the shutdown. Whether that particular Ranger was considered "mission essential" or not I have no idea, I just know he was working and didn't have a government vehicle.
Now I don't know if that applies to all BLM land everywhere in the country but that's what will happen to BLM land in and around Quartzsite. But it seems to me if rangers are not allowed to use government vehicles during the shutdown I find it hard to believe that even if they're allowed to work they would drive their personal vehicles all over BLM land everyday, searching for, and kicking out boondocker's, especially since there's no benefit to anyone to do so.
Even though I wasn't seriously worried about boondocking on BLM land during a government shutdown that bit of information does assuage what few fears I had. My experience has been that BLM land is so vast and there are so few rangers patrolling it that even seeing a Ranger has been a very rare occurrence for me. And from what I've heard if you're just somewhere you shouldn't be, or simply overstayed your welcome, and you're not a troublemaker of some kind, you're simply told to move along.